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Exploring the tensions of being and becoming a medical educator

Sethi, Ahsan, Ajjawi, Rola, McAleer, Sean and Schofield, Susie 2017, Exploring the tensions of being and becoming a medical educator, BMC medical education, vol. 17, pp. 1-10, doi: 10.1186/s12909-017-0894-3.

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Title Exploring the tensions of being and becoming a medical educator
Author(s) Sethi, Ahsan
Ajjawi, RolaORCID iD for Ajjawi, Rola orcid.org/0000-0003-0651-3870
McAleer, Sean
Schofield, Susie
Journal name BMC medical education
Volume number 17
Article ID 62
Start page 1
End page 10
Total pages 10
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2017-03-23
ISSN 1472-6920
Keyword(s) tensions
fears
healthcare educators
medical education
postgraduate programmes
identity
career choice
faculty development
communities of practice
Social Sciences
Education & Educational Research
Education, Scientific Disciplines
PROFESSIONAL IDENTITY
CLINICIAN-EDUCATORS
FACULTY-DEVELOPMENT
ACADEMIC CAREERS
PERCEPTIONS
SCHOLARSHIP
PROGRAMS
ISSUES
TIME
Summary Background
Previous studies have identified tensions medical faculty encounter in their roles but not specifically those with a qualification in medical education. It is likely that those with postgraduate qualifications may face additional tensions (i.e., internal or external conflicts or concerns) from differentiation by others, greater responsibilities and translational work against the status quo. This study explores the complex and multi-faceted tensions of educators with qualifications in medical education at various stages in their career.

Methods
The data described were collected in 2013–14 as part of a larger, three-phase mixed-methods research study employing a constructivist grounded theory analytic approach to understand identity formation among medical educators. The over-arching theoretical framework for the study was Communities of Practice. Thirty-six educators who had undertaken or were undertaking a postgraduate qualification in medical education took part in semi-structured interviews.

Results

Participants expressed multiple tensions associated with both becoming and being a healthcare educator. Educational roles had to be juggled with clinical work, challenging their work-life balance. Medical education was regarded as having lower prestige, and therefore pay, than other healthcare career tracks. Medical education is a vast speciality, making it difficult as a generalist to keep up-to-date in all its areas. Interestingly, the graduates with extensive experience in education reported no fears, rather asserting that the qualification gave them job variety.

Conclusion
This is the first detailed study exploring the tensions of educators with postgraduate qualifications in medical education. It complements and extends the findings of the previous studies by identifying tensions common as well as specific to active students and graduates. These tensions may lead to detachment, cynicism and a weak sense of identity among healthcare educators. Postgraduate programmes in medical education can help their students identify these tensions in becoming and develop coping strategies. Separate career routes, specific job descriptions and academic workload models for medical educators are recommended to further the professionalisation of medical education.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/s12909-017-0894-3
Field of Research 130209 Medicine, Nursing and Health Curriculum and Pedagogy
130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
1302 Curriculum And Pedagogy
1117 Public Health And Health Services
Socio Economic Objective 930201 Pedagogy
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2017, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30092896

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.