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First Do No Self HarmUnderstanding and Promoting Physician Stress Resilience$
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Charles Figley, Peter Huggard, and Charlotte Rees

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780195383263

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195383263.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 January 2021

Between two Worlds

Between two Worlds

Medical Students Narrating Identity Tensions

(p.44) 3 Between two Worlds
First Do No Self Harm

Lynn V. Monrouxe

Kieran Sweeney

Oxford University Press

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.

Keywords:   personal identity, professional identity, identity construction, solicited audio diary, narrative, shared attitudes, reflection

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