Whistle-blowing in Medical School: A National Survey on Peer Accountability and Professional Misconduct in Medical Students
This study examines medical students’ attitudes towards peer accountability.
A nationally representative sample of 564 third year medical students was surveyed. Students reported their agreement or disagreement with two statements: “I feel professionally obligated to report peers whose personal behaviors compromise their professional responsibilities” and “I feel professionally obligated to report peers who I believe are seriously unfit to practice medicine.”
The majority of students (81.6 %) either agreed strongly or agreed somewhat that they feel obligated to report peers whose personal behaviors compromise their professional responsibilities. The majority (84.1 %) also agreed that they feel professionally obligated to report peers who they believe are seriously unfit to practice medicine.
In contrast with previous studies, this national study found that a significant majority of students reported that they feel obligated to report unfit peers.
KeywordsMedical students Professionalism Whistle-blowing Peer accountability National Survey
The authors would like to thank Senior Project Manager, Dr. Kenneth Rasinski, and Data Manager, Ms. Annikea Miller, for their capable and generous contributions to the project. This project was supported by A New Science of Virtues, The Arête Initiative at the University of Chicago through a grant from the John Templeton Foundation. This project was also supported by a pilot grant from the Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence at the University of Chicago.
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
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