Survey of doctors’ perception of professional values

Nadia Minicuci, Cinzia Giorato, Ilaria Rocco, Peter Lloyd-Sherlock, Giampiero Avruscio, Fabrizio Cardin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)


Background: New challenges in the medical field of the third millennium emphasise the "humanization of medicine" leading to a redefinition of doctors’ values, limits and roles. The study aims to assess whether there are different personality dimensions of physicians in relation to their perception of professional values and public expectations.

Methods: A questionnaire on the perception of professional values and the opinion on work in the medical field, work relationships and public expectations was administered to 374 doctors attending Continuing Medical Education courses.

Results: Two personality dimensions were identified: the first dimension (which we termed "Performance Attainment") is associated preeminently with values of competence, advocacy, confidentiality, spirit of enquiry, integrity, responsibility and commitment; the second dimension (which we called “Personal Involvement”) focuses on concern and compassion. The doctors that have more difficulty accepting judgements on their activity are those who think that “Performance attainment” is less important (β = 6.01; p-value = 0.007). Instead, the doctors who believe “public expectation of the health system” is not high enough, tend to think that “Performance Attainment” is more important (β = -6.08; p-value = 0.024). The less importance is given to the values of "Personal Involvement", the less is the doctor’s perception of having a leading role in respect to other health professionals (β = -2.37; p-value = 0.018).

Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that there are two different attitudes in terms of recognition and selection of the essential values to better practice the medical profession. Whether the doctors attach more importance to one dimension or the other, they do not differ in our analysis for how they answered the questions about relationships with patients, colleagues or family commitments in the questionnaire, even if they work in different areas. This suggests that in our research there is no single personal attitude that characterizes “a good doctor”.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0244303
JournalPLoS One
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 28 Dec 2020

Cite this