Project title: “Exploring the role of specialty identity in medical student professional identity formation; a qualitative analysis”
Co-PIs: Caitlin Schrepel and Ashley Amick
Project Abstract: Medical student professional identity formation (PIF) is impacted by aspects of the clinical working environment. Our recent work highlights how group identity according to specialty, or specialty identity, impacts how physicians engage with each other. Similarly, the tenets of sociocultural learning theory suggest that it is critical for trainees to work in a group with others pursuing the same goals, as part of a community of practice. However, group alliance also fosters boundaries between groups. In fact, our recent work demonstrated how biases and stereotypes directed at other specialties were signaled throughout training and promoted conflict. While we are beginning to understand how specialty identity impacts practicing physicians, there remains a gap in our understanding of how this type of identity forms early in training. Thus, we propose a qualitative study which will explore how medical students develop and understand their specialty identity as it begins to form. We will interview students using inductive techniques and analyze transcripts using a constructivist grounded theory approach. We hope that an improved understanding of how specialty identity impacts the PIF will provide educators with the tools to promote healthy communities of practice and limit the negative consequences of group alliance.
Collaborators: Drs. Jon Ilgen, Joshua Jauregui, Bjorn Watsjold, and Maralyssa Bann (Dept. of Medicine)
Project dates: July 1, 2022 - December 31, 2023 (18 months)
Sponsor: UW Center for Leadership & Innovation in Medical Education (CLIME)