Definition, Dimensions and Attributes of Professionalism in Dentistry for Chilean Context

2024 • Volume 18 • Issue 1

Yazmín Zedán; Natacha Oyarzo & Lorena Isbej



Professionalism has become highly relevant in health professional education since there is evidence of its impact on the quality of patient care. It has been reported that unprofessional practices incurred by students tend to be repeated later in their professional activities. Professionalism is a construct that reflects values, culture, language and social arrangements; therefore, it is not suggested to extrapolate a definition from one context to another. Thus, a starting point is to obtain a definition of professionalism culturally adapted to the context in which it is embedded. The aim of the study was to obtain a definition of professionalism in dentistry, its dimensions and attributes agreed upon by stakeholders of different dentistry programs of Chilean universities. A mixed methodology was used in two phases. In phase 1, an exploratory qualitative design with a Grounded Theory approach, two focus groups were developed (dental teachers and students), and the data was analyzed using a constant comparison method and open coding. In phase 2, an expert consultation was carried out using a sequential explanatory design through a Delphi Panel (consensus method) and a questionnaire with closed and open questions, where content analysis was conducted. A consensus definition of professionalism in dentistry was obtained, transversal and adapted to the national context, with five dimensions (contextual, formative, personal, interpersonal and social) and thirteen attributes. Professionalism is a complex construct, requiring a common definition to guide the incorporation of its dimensions and attributes in the educational processes of dental education institutions, enabling them to play their social role with excellence, contributing to improving the quality of health care.

KEY WORDS: professionalism, professional competence, ethics, dentistry.


How to cite this article

ZEDÁN, Y.; OYARZO. N. & ISBEJ, L. Definition, dimensions and attributes of professionalism in dentistry for Chilean context. Int. J. Odontostomat., 18(1):60-65, 2024.


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