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Table 2 The final top seven attributes common to both professional and research careers and definitions.

From: Graduate attributes in the disciplines of Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine: a survey of expert opinions

Attribute Average rank (± standard error) Definition
Inquiring mind/curiosity 2.25 ± 0.65 A motivation to understand and explain. It should be fostered and encouraged during the undergraduate years by giving the tools to do this, such as developing a hypothesis and testing it.
Core knowledge 2.43 ± 0.95 Core knowledge is continually developing and there should be an understanding of this in graduates. A function of core knowledge is that it enables individuals to ask questions and challenge facts.
Critical appraisal 3.50 ± 0.80 This is the ability to understand evidence, by which we mean analyse, criticise and synthesise it.
Understanding of the evidence base for professional practice 3.86 ± 1.32 In all practitioners an awareness of the need for evidence supporting their practice is vital.
Understanding of ethics and governance 4.25 ± 0.94 This includes an understanding of ethical and legislative issues of professional and research practice such as ethical committees and Home Office powers.
Ability to work in a team 4.83 ± 1.42 The team is loosely defined and could include multi-professional teams in either a research or clinical setting. This should also include an appreciation of different team roles and their importance in ensuring teams work effectively.
Ability to communicate 5.14 ± 1.97 This broad attribute covers all aspects of communication. It incorporates a variety of individuals such as patients, co-workers, experts in the field or the general public. It also encompasses communication using various media, one to one interactions, public speaking, written notes, leaflets or journal articles. The theoretical as well as the practical elements of communication should be covered.
  1. Combined rankings of the top seven graduate attributes shared between the professional and research careers and definitions (mean ± standard error).