Outstanding qualities of a successful role model in medical education: Students and professors' points of view

Ann Med Surg (Lond). 2022 Sep 20;82:104652. doi: 10.1016/j.amsu.2022.104652. eCollection 2022 Oct.


Introduction: Role models play a crucial role in determining the professional development of medical trainees. The purpose of this study was to gain in-depth understanding of the outstanding qualities of successful role models.

Material and methods: In this qualitative-descriptive study, data were collected through conducting interviews, and the inductive content analysis was performed. The study was done at the school of medicine of Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran. Twenty-five medical students, medical graduates, and faculty members participated in 25 interviews from April to December 2019. The participants were recruited via purposive sampling.

Results: five categories and 13 subcategories were extracted from the data. The results of this study illustrated five crucial qualities of a good clinical role model including an excellent character, effective coach and mentor, inspiring medical leader, expert clinical teacher, and a professional physician. Our results also highlighted the lasting effects of positive role modeling of clinical teachers on medical trainees' professional careers. Another category in the present study was connected to future consequences of being a role model in a clinical setting.

Conclusion: The result of this study illustrated crucial qualities of a good medical role model. This result can assist the leaders to engage with medical educators to better understand the process of role modeling and design the best plan for development of role modeling in medical education.

Keywords: Clinical setting; Clinical teacher; Professionalism; Role modeling.