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J Educ Eval Health Prof > Epub ahead of print
J Educ Eval Health Prof. 2021; 18: 26.
Published online September 29, 2021.
[Epub ahead of print]
Definition of character for medical education based on expert opinions in Korea
Yera Hur 
Institute of Medical Education, College of Medicine, Hallym University, Chuncheon, Korea
Correspondence  Yera Hur ,Email:
Editor:  Sun Huh, Hallym University, Korea
Submitted: September 21, 2021  Accepted after revision: September 29, 2021
This follow-up study focused on 3 overarching questions: (1) what keywords can be extracted from experts’ definitions of character?; (2) what is the operational definition of character for medical students?; and (3) what possible solutions can be suggested to address the issues of character education that were identified in a previous study?
Sixty-three medical education experts recruited through expert sampling and 19 non-medical education experts recruited through snowball sampling answered a questionnaire that addressed the 3 major questions of the study. The responses were analyzed for descriptive statistics with supplementary keyword extraction tools, including the Cortical and Monkey keyword extractors.
A total of 93 definitional statements were counted, and 138 keyword terms were extracted. The top 5 keyword terms mentioned by the medical education experts were “patient”, “empathy”, “qualities”, “attitude”, and “ability”. These keyword terms were quite different from those mentioned by the non-medical education experts. Based on the extracted keywords, an operational definition of character education by the medical education expert group was presented as follows: the basic qualities and ability to empathize with patients affected by illness based on respect for patients and others. Various methods were proposed to solve the issue of character education, and many of them pointed to curriculum development, such as improvements in teaching and learning methods and evaluation methods, including role modeling.
A clear statement of the concept of character education is the start to resolve issues of character education. Character education improvements will be possible at the institutional level according to the above results.
Keywords: Character; Medical education; Humanities; Professionalism; Medical student
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