Professional Identity and Performance Appraisal:Implications for Indian Medical Education
Commentary: Professional Identity and Performance Appraisal: Implications for Indian Medical Education
Teaching professionalism is important in the development of a health professional who is competent and responsive to the needs of the community. More recently, the concept of professionalism has expanded to include supporting students in the development of their professional identity. The purpose of this commentary is to describe the effect of diversity on the formation of professional identity, as well as the role of diversity in the development of a robust performance appraisal system. Considerable research has established that greater diversity in medicine, particularly in terms of gender and race, positively influences professional identity formation. This is because diverse identities bring unique perspectives and skills, exposure to which enhances educational experiences and contributes to identity formation. Issues related to language, communication, attire and impression management can be addressed through this sort of contact. Performance appraisals have been found to be a major source of discrimination in managing diversity and equity in workplace. There are many unconscious biases and assumptions related to identities including gender, race and nationality which need to be addressed in developing a fair and equitable performance appraisal system.Researchers have shown that the first step in combating biases is to increase an awareness of one’s own biases, and then learn skills to deal with them in a way that is fair and non–judgmental. Faculty development programs can address this goal to some extent. While there are several such programs globally, in India there is a need for faculty development programs that address the issue of biases. The existing national faculty development program led by Medical Council of India and the programs by the Foundation for Advancement of International Education and Research (FAIMER) Regional Institutes in India can add inclusion and biases to their programs. [Rashmi VNJIRM 2017; 8(6):106-111]
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