Patients, providers rate physician professionalism with bias

Despite it being a Joint Commission and Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) core competency, ways to review physician professionalism may be biased, according to a new study published in the British Medical Journal. When researchers from the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry in Exeter looked at reviews from multiple sources (i.e., patients, colleagues) assessing physicians, there were varying factors that contributed to lower professionalism scores. For instance, patients reported less positive feedback if their doctor was a psychiatrist or not their "usual doctor." Colleagues rated locum tenens physicians less favorably or if they did not have regular contact with the rated doctors. Researchers cautioned that in the absence of a standardized measure of professionalism, organizations should carefully interpret multi-source feedback of physician professionalism. Press release