The most important attribute: stakeholder perspectives on what matters most in a physician

  • P. Wheatley-Price University of Ottawa, The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
  • K. Laurie University of Ottawa
  • T. Zhang The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
  • D. Bossé University of Ottawa, The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
  • D. Chowdhury University of Ottawa
Keywords: stakeholders in health care system, physician attributes, quality of care, medical education

Abstract

Background

Most people can think of important attributes they believe physicians should have. The CanMEDS framework defines domains of attributes in medical training (leader, medical expert, scholar, communicator, advocate, collaborator and professional). Whether some are more valued by different stakeholders is unknown. Previous research has shown that patients can receive sub-optimal care if physician and patient expectations of a healthcare encounter differ. This study sought to identify what different stakeholders identified as the single most important attribute for a physician to possess.

 

Methods

A simple survey asked the question ‘what is the single most important attribute a physician should have?’ at a single academic teaching hospital and affiliated medical school. The survey was administered to medical students, doctors, nurses, patients and caregivers. Age and gender were also collected. Responses were placed into domains of response and analyzed to identify trends. The primary outcome is a descriptive analysis of the findings.

 

Results

From 362 individuals who responded, 109 different responses were given. The single most common answer was ‘compassion’ (n=86). Responses were categorized to 5 domains: caring (n=209); professional/collaborator (n=58); medical expert (n=54); communicator (n=32); and other (n=9). Women chose attributes in the caring domain more frequently than men (64% v 49%), though this domain was the most popular for both genders. Medical students were less likely to highly value communication attributes.

 

Conclusions

All stakeholder group identified attributes in the caring domain as being most important. This result acts as a reminder to the healthcare profession.


Author Biographies

P. Wheatley-Price, University of Ottawa, The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

Department of Medicine

K. Laurie, University of Ottawa

Department of Medicine

D. Bossé, University of Ottawa, The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

Department of Medicine

D. Chowdhury, University of Ottawa

Department of Medicine

Published
2019-12-05
How to Cite
Wheatley-Price, P., Laurie, K., Zhang, T., Bossé, D., & Chowdhury, D. (2019). The most important attribute: stakeholder perspectives on what matters most in a physician. Current Oncology, 27(2). https://doi.org/10.3747/co.27.5489
Section
Knowledge Translation