Medical Students Participation for Developing Professional Identity (Published 2015)
Apr 06, 2016
Susani YP, Rahayu GR, Sanusi R, Prabandari YS and Harsono
Participation is a learning process essential for developing professional identity. This qualitative study explores the forms of participation conducted by medical students with a focus on getting to know, interacting, practising, reflecting, and convincing.
Background: Participation is a learning process essential for developing professional identity. However, how a medical student participates during his/her learning in medical school has not much been explored.
Objective: This study aimed to explore the forms of participation conducted by medical students.
Methods: This was a qualitative research by conducting semi-structured in-depth interviews to 17 preclinical and clinical medical students. The questions in the interview guide were based on three forms of participation: engagement, imagination and alignment. Determinant and emergent coding was performed to analyze the results of the interview.
Results: Getting to know, interacting, practising, reflecting, and convincing were 5 forms of participation. Practice especially clinically patient contact was the main form which could develop the professional identity of medical students. Participation reinforces motivation, confidence, and identity.
Conclusion: Participation as a medical student’s learning was not only in forms of practice their knowledge to the patient, but also in forms of all activities that contribute to the community and gave meaning to themselves as part of a medical profession community. Faculty need to provide a learning environment that can give broaden opportunities for students to participate in order to develop professional identity.
I must admit that I found this paper very difficult to understand or follow, although I realise that it tries to relate internal motivation, student engagement, educational environment and outcome together. Although I think probably conducted in a rather complex manner I feel that the authors findings support the idea that the more students are engaged- perhaps from an early part of the curriculum- the more motivated they are. What the long term effect of this is however was missing from this paper I feel.
Deborah Murdoch Eaton
Developing (early) professional identity is emerging as a key factor in successful passage through medical school - and research indicates that early professional identity formation is lacking in medical education.
I think the key message that can be drawn from this paper is that the obvious ways to reinforce professional identity ie through practice tend to happen later during training. If we want (as indicated by the wider literature) to develop this professional identity early, we need to work on the "reflection" angle and active participation in this ie facilitating engagement from the earliest encounters will reinforce earlier development of PI formation.