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Title: "Am I just a hippy doctor on the outside looking in?" : A study exploring student journeys through medical school following a year out to do a degree in international health
Author: Anderson , Elizabeth
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2014
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Medical students are able to take a year out to intercalate and study another subject during their medical degree. They may choose one that is informed by subjects that have different epistemological traditions to medicine, such as the social sciences. The aim of this study was to explore medical students' experience of intercalation in international health (an exemplar of a degree that includes social science components) and of their return to medical training. It is important to understand this multi-epistemic journey, as integrating social science teaching into the medical curriculum is currently advocated as one of the means with which to produce doctors who can practice with a global remit. The study adopted a constructivist perspective and a longitudinal design. Data were gathered via informal interviews (conversations) with and emails from six medical students in one university in the UK over a three year period during and after intercalation in international health, and from two students during their first year as junior doctors. The methodology adapted Douglas Moustakas' heuristic enquiry (Moustakas 1990) and incorporated narrative methods to preserve the student voice during data analysis and interpretation. The main findings were that following an intensive exposure to other disciplines' ways of knowing these medical students had some problems of reintegration and that the term "hippy doctor" was used to describe this experience. Whilst they sometimes struggled to bring together different ways of knowing and apply these to clinical medicine, these students also provided accounts that showed that such multi-epistemic experiences appear to make a valuable contribution to students' overall education and identity formation. The findings suggest that medical educators would benefit from paying attention to students' experience of crossing epistemological boundaries and to the potential of this hybrid space to support their development as doctors.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available