Document Type



Educational Development


Introduction: Role models facilitate student learning and assists in the development of professional identity. However, social organization and cultural values influence the choice of role models. Considering that the social organization and cultural values in South East Asia are different from other countries, it is important to know whether this affects the characteristics medical students look for in their role models in these societies.
Methods: A 32 item questionnaire was developed and self-administered to undergraduate medical students. Participants rated the characteristics on a three point scale (0 = not important, 1 = mildly important, 2 = very important). One way ANOVA and student's t-test were used to compare the groups.
Results: A total of 349 (65.23%) distributed questionnaires were returned. The highest ranked themes were teaching and facilitating learning, patient care and continuing professional development followed by communication and professionalism. Safe environment and guiding personal and professional development was indicated least important. Differences were also observed between scores obtained by males and females.
Conclusion: Globally there are attributes which are perceived as essential for role models, while others are considered desirable. An understanding of the attributes which are essential and desirable for role models can help medical educators devise strategies which can reinforce those attributes within their institutions.

Publication (Name of Journal)

PLoS One

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.