Professional Culture in Medical Schools: A Medical Educator Interpretation uri icon


  • © 2020, International Association of Medical Science Educators.Besides sharing knowledge, values, and attitudes, the members of a profession share a way of understanding how to perceive life, also known as professional identity. The formation of this identity is related to the acquisition of multiple roles, responsibilities, and collaboration, defining their professional culture. The medical educator is a professional who is committed to student development, who is a leader in his field, and who is active in academic or clinical activities, demonstrating the commitment to the community. The objective of this study was to explore the professional culture through the perception of the medical educator identity. A qualitative method was implemented by applying a content analysis strategy. A sample of 39 medical educators participated in structured interviews. Answers transcription was analyzed unitizing assumptions, effects, enablers, and barriers through the professional culture model: individualism, balkanized, collegiality per project, and extended collaboration. The definition of the medical educator was associated with 44% to individualism, 31% balkanized, 13% collegiality per project, and 13% extended collaboration. Generally, contributions from Basic Science educators are more individual, and the projects in the university are part of the operation planned for the short and medium term. Clinical Science educators are used to working in medical specialty groups, and some of them are involved in strategical social projects that provide care for the community. A cultural change transitioning from a highly autonomous strategy toward meaningful collaborative projects can help physicians and health professionals to develop a shared vision of what it means to be a medical educator. The medical school should provide a sense of collegial community environment to set common goals and expectations with adequate resources, and leadership is the standard.

Publication date

  • March 1, 2020