Medical Education e-Professionalism (MEeP) framework; from conception to development

Med Educ Online. 2021 Dec;26(1):1983926. doi: 10.1080/10872981.2021.1983926.


Background: Medical professionalism education intends to produce virtuous and humanistic healthcare professionals who demonstrate perseverance and professional integrity. However, today's medicine has embodied a mammoth transformation of medical practice towards sns and the digital realm. Such paradigm shift has challenged the medical professional's values, behaviors, and identities, and the distinct boundaries between personal and professional lives are blurred. This study aims to develop a framework for healthcare professionals coping with the challenges of medical professionalism in the digital realm.

Methods: We followed a systematic approach for the development of a framework about e-professionalism. Qualitative data was collected from a systematic review and a delphi study, while quantitative data was collected by administering a validated questionnaire social networking sites for medical education (snsme). Subsequently, categorization of the selected data and identifying concepts, deconstruction and further categorizing concepts (philosophical triangulation), integration of concepts (theoretical triangulation), and synthesis and resynthesis of concepts were performed.

Results: The initial process yielded six overlapping concepts from personal, professional, character (implicit) and characteristic (explicit) domains: environment, behavior, competence, virtues, identity, and mission. Further integration of data was done for the development of the medical education e-professionalism (meep) framework with a central concept of a commitment to mission. The mission showed deep connections with values (conformity, beneficence, universalism, and integrity), behaviours (communication, self-awareness, tolerance, power), and identity (reflection, conscientiousness, self-directed, self-actualization). The data demonstrated that all medical professionals require updated expertise in sns participation.

Conclusion: The meep framework recognises a mission-based social contract by the medical community. This mission is largely driven by professional values, behaviors and identity. Adherence to digital standards, accountability, empathy, sensitivity, and commitment to society are essential elements of the meep framework.

Keywords: digital professionalism; e-professionalism; framework; professionalism; social networking sites.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Communication
  • Education, Medical*
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Professionalism*
  • Social Networking

Grant support

This research is funded by The School of Postgraduate Studies and Research of The Royal College of Surgeons Ireland – Medical University Bahrain.