Students’ and Clinical Teachers’ Experiences of Giving and Receiving Faculty Professionalism Feedback: a Qualitative Study

Project: National Science and Technology CouncilNational Science and Technology Council Academic Grants

Project Details


Clinical teachers have multiple roles. For patients, they are clinicians and members of healthcare teams. For students, they are role models and teachers of clinical performance, clinical reasoning, and professional behavior. Recently, the assessment of clinical teachers’ professionalism by students has become an important aspect of faculty development internationally. Professional practice is not just about teaching activities; it encompasses a wide range of additional skills, attributes, and values. Indeed, the hidden curriculum is often very ‘visible’ with students reporting a disconnect between what is explicitly taught and what is observed, with role modelling of unprofessional behavior being distressingly common. Assessment programs targeted at providing clinical faculty feedback may offer opportunities to improve professionalism within the clinical teaching environment, helping to ameliorate some aspects of negative learning environments. In 2014, Young et al. developed the Professionalism Assessment of Clinical Teachers (PACT) with good reliability and validity for evaluating professional and clinical teaching behaviors. Over the past year we have developed the PACT for faculty professionalism assessment in Taiwan: resulting in the M-PACT (M for ‘modified’). We have reported that ‘teaching skills’ is the least well-rated domain of faculty professionalism. Taiwanese students gave relatively fewer comments than Canadian students gave in the original PACT study (33% vs 45%) and did not give more feedback comments for teachers with relatively lower professionalism performance. This suggests that Taiwanese students might encounter barriers when giving additional qualitative feedback. Methods: Our research is set within a realistic evaluation methodology designed to evaluate the implementation of the M-PACT for teacher reflexivity by understanding what works, for whom and why. In year-1, the M-PACT will be implemented for self-evaluation of clinical teaching faculty in addition to student evaluation and an official programme theory will be developed. Across the first two years, we will conduct qualitative interviews to develop our understanding of how the M-PACT works (or not). The final year will comprise a period of further refinement of the M-PACT where necessary, followed by a questionnaire to assess the relative acceptance of the M-PACT tool for staff and students. Phase 1: Roll out of M-PACT for teacher reflexivity Phase 2: Developing official programme theory Phase 3: Qualitative interviews of clinical educators and students, developing actual programme theory Phase 4: Further refinement of the M-PACT and assessment of impact Study purpose: The aim of this project is to explore the experiences of clinical teachers and their students when using the M-PACT to enable us to development the tool to facilitate the provision of high quality feedback for educators, specifically: 1. To implement faculty self-assessment alongside student assessment of faculty using M-PACT; 2. To explore facilitators and barriers for faculty development in professionalism using M-PACT; 3. To explore facilitators and barriers for student provision of honest feedback to educators using M-PACT. Understanding how faculty and students perceive faculty professionalism will help the development of program design, increase professionalism reflection in faculty members, and improve the role model effect on our medical student’s professionalism development. Finally, patient care quality will improve.

Project IDs

Project ID:PF10507-1967
External Project ID:MOST105-2511-S182-010
Effective start/end date01/08/1631/07/17


  • professionalism
  • assessment
  • reflection
  • feedback
  • qualitative research
  • quantitative research


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