Between two Worlds
Between two Worlds
Medical Students Narrating Identity Tensions
Medical education entails more than just learning knowledge and skills; it is also about the formation of a new identity: learning about the attitudes, values, and behaviors expected of a doctor. Medical students inevitably experience a number of stressful situations, including the complex process of negotiating personal and professional identities in their encounters with others. In this chapter we focus on narratives from a longitudinal solicited audio diary study investigating how individuals entering medical education (n=17) develop their identities as medical students and doctors through the spontaneous stories they conveyed over time. From 399 narratives received to date, we discuss three cornerstone narratives of personal encounters with illness and dying that cut across a number of content themes and narrative types. The narratives represent the initial perspectives of looking onto, living alongside and living with illness, dying, and death, focusing on students’ subsequent struggle between personal and professional identities. We also discuss the audio diary method and its potential to develop students’ awareness of what they bring to the clinical encounter. Following the principle of raising a reflexive awareness of how we talk, medical students might begin to develop a narrative competence that can facilitate personal reflection on their new understandings. Through such reflection students could consider how things might change in the future, both in their understandings of themselves and their understandings of interactions with others.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.