Background: As medical students spend most of their time with their clinical teachers and imitate their roles and characteristics during the school year, it is important to identify the roles and characteristics that they find essential in their role models. These traits play a part in their future professions as doctors. 

Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the perspective of students, interns, and residents regarding the roles and characteristics of a clinical role model. 

Methods: In an analytical cross-sectional study, a structured and self-developed questionnaire was completed by 185 medical students at educational hospitals of Kerman University of Medical Sciences during April and May 2015. Participants were selected using convenience sampling method. For data analysis, we used descriptive and inferential statistics. SPSS software version 16 was used as needed. 

Results: In total, 90 medical students (48.7%), 65 interns (35.1%), and 30 residents (16.2%) participated in this study. Male respondents (n=75) comprised 40.5% and female respondents (n=110) 59.5% of the study sample. The three most important roles of a clinical teacher were organizer role (99.7), teacher role (101.7), and supporter role (109.5) for students, interns, and residents respectively. On the other hand, supporter role (85.4), communicator role (86.4) and organizer role (83.4) were ranked as the least important for students, interns, and residents respectively. There was no significant association among the three batches and the roles of a clinical teacher (p>0.05). Conversely, Females rated the roles of a clinical teacher significantly higher than males (p<0.05).

Conclusions: As teachers are frequently perceived by students as role models in medical schools, great attention should be given to their roles. Teachers must be aware that their roles have an impact on students' professional development and performance.


Keywords: Clinical role model, Student, Medical education
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