Becoming a Medical Student

By Renu Narchal, Leanne S. Cowin, Ian Wilson and David Harding.

Published by The International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

An understanding of current and contemporary issues for new transitioning students is important for any educational team, but particularly in the healthcare field, where procedures and policies are constantly changing. This knowledge can lead to more effective and targeted teaching strategies for academic success and may assist with student retention issues. This study explores the process of becoming a medical student, more so in a new medical school. Four focus groups were conducted in the last week of their first year. The participants responded to trigger questions by raising three major themes including: finding a balance, succeeding, and discussing family and friends. From the major themes arising in the focus group discussions, the participants continually highlight the importance of the transitional process and establishing new identities. This study contributes to the research and strategies utilised by many medical schools that include—targeting supports for students, having early interventions for students based on continual assessments, and lastly, monitoring and examining new trends for students as they arise.

Keywords: Becoming, Professional Identity, Medical Students, Transition

International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp.139-150. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 398.936KB).

Dr. Renu Narchal

Lecturer, School of Social Sciences and Psychology, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Renu is a lecturer in the School of Social Sciences & Psychology and is Academic Course Advisor for 4th Year/Post Graduate Diploma in Psychology. Her current research interests are in social cognition related to migrant issues like social isolation, loneliness, ethnic discrimination, language brokering and development of the self-concept. As a developmental psychologist, Renu is keen to explore how significant life events affect development of self and identity.

Dr. Leanne S. Cowin

Senior Lecturer in Psychology, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Western Sydney, Australia

Leanne is a Senior lecturer in the School of Nursing and Midwifery and is Head of Program for the Master of Nursing course. She continues to contribute to nursing subjects on professional development issues and has recently gained a new Master’s degree in Applied Statistics. Leanne had developed and published several measures on self-concept, retention and job satisfaction.

Prof. Ian Wilson

Associate Dean Learning and Teaching, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Wollongong, Australia

Ian is a former general practitioner who is now working in medical eduction. He is assocaitae Dean Learning and Teching. His research interests include assessment, student development, welfare, and innovations in medical education. He continues to oversee the development and implementation of a new medical course.

David Harding

PhD Student, School of Medicine, University of Western Sydney, Australia

David is a senior clinical psychologist, and has worked in a variety of hospital and outpatient settings. He has a particular interest in researching and treating the spectrum of trauma-related disorders. David is completing doctoral studies evaluating methodology for both selecting medical students and predicting the development of their professional attributes.