Dr. Heather Frost
Topic: “I AM a Doctor”: The Implications of the Discourses of Standardization and Diversity for Professional Identity Formation
Date: November 21st, 2012
Time: 12:00pm to 1:30pm (Lunch will be served at DHCC)
- Diamond Health Care Centre 2263
- LSC 1312
- MSB 131
- RJH 122
- KGH 235
- NHSC 9-370
- Alouette Room at Central City
Medical educators are responsible for producing the ‘right’ kind of physicians. There is growing recognition that doing so means not only ensuring that medical students have learned the vast amount of knowledge and skills required for competent and safe practice, but that they leave their training feeling like, conceiving of and identifying themselves as medical professionals. Responding to concerns that students are failing to identify in ways that are congruent with the profession’s expectations and standards, leaders in medical education maintain that professional identity formation must be made a major curricular goal. While earlier generations of medical students were similarly challenged to construct a professional identity, I propose that the process has been made more complicated for contemporary medical students by their increasingly varied personal backgrounds and the presence of two dominant, yet competing discourses within medical education: a discourse of standardization and a discourse of diversity. I begin this discussion by summarizing these two discourses to demonstrate how they are in conflict. I will then draw upon identity theorizing from the social sciences to explore what this contentious discursive landscape might mean for medical students and the ways in which they are constructing their professional identities. I conclude by highlighting directions for further research.
Heather Frost completed her BA and MA degrees in Environment and Resource Management in the Department of Geography at the University of Toronto and received her doctoral degree in Cultural Geography from the Department of Geography at the University of British Columbia. She has worked as an undergraduate sessional lecturer in the Department of Geography at UBC and spent the past year working as a qualitative research assistant at CHES working on the Future of Medical Education in Canada (FMEC) Postgraduate Project and MD Undergraduate curriculum renewal at UBC.
As an organization accredited to sponsor continuing medical education for physicians by the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS), the UBC Division of Continuing Professional Development designates this educational program as meeting the accreditation criteria of the College of Family Physicians of Canada for up to 1.5 Mainpro-M1 credits (per session). This program has been reviewed and approved by UBC Division of Continuing Professional Development. Each physician should claim only those credits he/she actually spent in the activity.
The CHES Research Rounds is a self-approved group learning activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.