Medical Science Educator

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 503–513 | Cite as

Tracking Peer Professionalism Measures in Preclinical Medical Students

  • Jennifer Brueckner-CollinsEmail author
  • Paul Klein
  • Craig Ziegler
  • Leslee Martin
  • Susan Sawning
  • Emily Carr
  • M. Ann Shaw
  • Amy Holthouser
Original Research



Professionalism is a key competency in first year medical gross anatomy instruction, yet there is a paucity of longitudinal studies addressing professionalism attributes into year 2. This study longitudinally compared 160 preclinical medical students’ peer professionalism evaluations in two small group settings (year 1 anatomy lab and year 2 team-based learning (TBL) sessions) for 2013–2014 and 2014–2015.


Students were evaluated by their small group peers on a scale (0–3) on five professionalism domains (teamwork, honor/integrity, caring/compassion/communication, respect, responsibility/accountability) at mid-term and end of semester in years 1 and 2. Statistical comparisons were made between the formative (mid-gross) and summative (post-gross) anatomy ratings and between the summative anatomy (post-gross) and mid-term TBL (mid-iTBL) ratings.


Anatomy professionalism evaluations showed a significant increase from an average ranking of 2.49 at mid-term to 2.6 at the end of the semester, with increases in teamwork, honor/integrity, caring/compassion/communication, and respect. Summative anatomy evaluations (post-gross) were compared to mid-term second year TBL (mid-iTBL), showing significant increases in peer professionalism rankings with improvements in teamwork, honor/integrity, responsibility/accountability, and respect.


Significant improvements in peer evaluated professionalism were observed in multiple domains over time in the anatomy lab, with the exception of responsibility and accountability. These gains were maintained into year 2 TBL evaluations, with the exception of caring, compassion, and communication, suggesting that graded peer evaluation may improve professionalism behavior in small group settings.


Medical education Professionalism Team based learning Gross Anatomy Peer evaluation 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the School of Medicine Class of 2017 for their participation in the peer professionalism evaluation study.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Prior Presentation

A preliminary version of this study was presented as a platform presentation at the 2015 annual meeting of the American Association of Clinical Anatomists.


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Copyright information

© International Association of Medical Science Educators 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer Brueckner-Collins
    • 1
    Email author
  • Paul Klein
    • 2
  • Craig Ziegler
    • 2
  • Leslee Martin
    • 2
  • Susan Sawning
    • 2
  • Emily Carr
    • 2
  • M. Ann Shaw
    • 2
  • Amy Holthouser
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Anatomical Sciences and NeurobiologyUniversity of Louisville School of MedicineLouisvilleUSA
  2. 2.Office of Medical EducationUniversity of Louisville School of MedicineLouisvilleUSA

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