Section 3: Professional Values (attitudes and behaviours)

The core themes listed below comprise the learning objectives of the Professional Values section of the PPD modules. These will be achieved by participation in a combination of seminars and lectures, completion of pieces of coursework, PBL cases, the Shared Family Study project, Early Clinical Experience and self-directed learning.

1. Principles of Healthcare

Students should be familiar with key principles in healthcare. These principles are relevant in all areas of medicine and support a process of clinical reasoning and team work.

a. Medical ethics and law

Learning Objectives: Students should be:

  • aware of their own beliefs and engage in critical reflection on their own and their colleagues’ moral beliefs.
  • know the four basic principles of beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy and justice and be able to apply them to common medical problems.
  • able to describe the legal principles inherent in UK law.
  • able to describe the professional duties expected of a doctor by the GMC.
  • able to explain the role of the defence unions.
  • able to explain the principles of double effect, the Sanctity of Life and ordinary and extra-ordinary means.
  • able to list the statutory requirements in seeking valid consent from adults who can make a decision for themselves, incompetent adults (i.e. adults who cannot make a decision for themselves) and minors
  • able to list the key legal principles involved in assessing the capacity of patients.
  • able to describe legal aspects of confidentiality which apply to medical practice.
  • able to demonstrate an understanding of the key principles pertaining to the law of negligence and how it relates to non-maleficence in medicine.
  • able to list and demonstrate an understanding of the key issues pertaining to the practice of clinical record keeping.
  • able to define the key guiding principles and legal aspects pertaining to the withholding and withdrawing of life-prolonging treatment.
  • able to describe the principles and legal aspects relating to the ethical issues surrounding human reproduction and apply them to a clinical scenario.
  • able to explain how a physician’s health can affect his or her performance and patient care.
  • able to describe the responsibility an ill doctor has in protecting patients and the circumstances in which these should be disclosed to an employer and the GMC, and be able to apply these principles to their work as a medical student.
  • aware of issues and dilemmas in resource allocation in the NHS.

b. Palliative care

Learning objectives:
Students should:

  • be able to reflect on the issues involved with the care of dying patients and the emotional responses that may arise in themselves and everyone involved in the care of the patient.
  • be able to describe the benefits of a holistic approach to patient care.
  • recognise the skills of others, medical and non-medical, in contributing to the care of the patient, and understand the concepts of team dynamics.
  • be aware of the principles of palliative care.
  • be able to describe the legal and ethical issues which surround end of life decision making.

c. Disability and Rehabilitation

Learning objectives:
Students should:

  • be able to describe different types of disability
  • be able to describe the World Health Organisation model of disability and the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health.
  • recognise the rights of people with mental or physical disabilities.
  • recognise the potential strengths and contributions of disabled people and know how the opportunities available to such individuals can be affected by society’s view of them.
  • recognise the importance of responses to illness and providing help towards recovery, as well as managing chronic disease and relapse, and reducing or managing impairments and disabilities.
  • be able to explain how changing the physical, social, legislative and attitudinal environment can increase participation of disabled people.
  • be able to describe the roles of members of a multidisciplinary team in providing a service for a person with disability.
  • recognise that people with disabling long term conditions can become experts in their condition.

d. Multidisciplinary team working

Learning objectives:
Students must:

  • be able to communicate clearly, sensitively and effectively with patients and their relatives and also with colleagues from other health and social care professions, administrative and ancillary staff in order to allow them to carry out their various roles of clinician, team member, team leader and teacher.
  • protect patients from risk of harm posed by another colleague's conduct, performance or health. The safety of patients must come first at all times.
  • be able to describe how a multidisciplinary team works and be able to appreciate and respect the skills and contributions of others.
  • not bully or harass their colleagues, or unfairly discriminate against them by allowing personal views to adversely affect their professional relationships and
  • challenge colleagues if their behaviour does not comply with this guidance.
  • support colleagues who have problems with performance, conduct or health.

2. The Consultation

This part of the module will complement the skills learnt by students in the Professional Competencies section. It will teach the theory of diagnostic reasoning and ensure that students are familiar with how to listen and talk to patients in order to elucidate and understand their story and be alert for red flag symptoms or signs. They should develop the necessary skills to maximise opportunities to promote and encourage healthy lifestyles for their patients.

a. Consultation dynamics

The consultation is the event in which doctors engage with different people, patients and families. The various aspects of any consultation need to be understood in order to facilitate it’s proper use.
Students must:

  • demonstrate the skills to gain an understanding of the patient’s problem, their beliefs and concerns
  • recognise patient’s own knowledge
  • develop skills to elucidate the ‘real’ or unspoken issues affecting a patient
  • recognise the need to place the patient at the centre of the consultation

b. Teaching

The GMC requires doctors to understand the key elements of teaching other colleagues, patients and the public at large. Teaching, training, appraising and assessing doctors and students are important for the care of patients now and in the future. Students must:

  • demonstrate a willingness to contribute to teaching, training, appraising and assessing
  • develop and apply methods of giving effective feedback to colleagues
  • be honest and objective when appraising or assessing the performance of colleagues

c. Health promotion

Students should:

  • gain an understanding of health promotion issues in relation to themselves, an individual and the community.
  • demonstrate an awareness of the ethical and philosophical aspects of health promotion and their implications for health care.
  • develop accepting and challenging attitudes where appropriate, to themselves, individuals, families, groups and communities.
  • be able to describe the biopsychosocial factors that can affect health.
  • recognise their own health beliefs and needs.
  • recognise the need for different approaches in different groups of patients.

3. Reflective practice

Aims: To encourage students to be prepared to constantly learn from their experiences throughout their careers in order to improve and develop their knowledge, skills and attitudes through a process of reflection and continuing professional development. This will include an awareness of culture and diversity and their effects on patient’s beliefs, expectations and requirements; self awareness and career opportunities and the need for continuous continuing professional development.

a: Culture and diversity

Students should:

  • be aware of patient’s different beliefs, expectations and requirements to be considered regarding culture, gender, sexuality, age, religion, race, social and economic status in their approach and management of patients
  • be able to give examples of substantive differences in illness behaviour between social and cultural groups
  • be aware of the availability and the use of interpreters when required
  • recognise, confront and address any prejudices and biases they may themselves have
  • be aware of the scope of human rights legislation and to understand it’s role in influencing ethical issues

b: Self-awareness

Students should:

reflect on their experiences, feelings and attitudes on a regular basis and in a systematic manner with the aim of identifying and addressing their own strengths and weaknesses

be able to describe ways of managing stress and be able to:

  • manage time effectively
  • balance work, recreation and relaxation
  • monitor and evaluate health, diet, exercise, etc.
  • recognise that there is always somebody who is willing to help when needed

Students should develop a professional attitude and:

  • demonstrate appropriate and respectful behaviour towards patients, staff and peers
  • accept personal responsibility for their own views and actions
  • show an ability to work under their own direction and use initiative
  • share the responsibility for learning with teachers
  • monitor and evaluate their academic, personal and professional development
  • be aware of their strengths and weaknesses
  • set personal goals
  • reflect on practice

c: Careers

Students should:

  • recognise that medical careers are diverse and know of the various options available.
  • recognise the need for continuous continuing professional development.