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Authentic early experience in Medical Education: a socio-cultural analysis identifying important variables in learning interactions within workplaces


Yardley, S and Brosnan, C and Richardson, J and Hays, RB, Authentic early experience in Medical Education: a socio-cultural analysis identifying important variables in learning interactions within workplaces, Advances in Health Sciences Education, 18, (5) pp. 873-891. ISSN 1382-4996 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 Springer Science+Business Media

DOI: doi:10.1007/s10459-012-9428-2


This paper addresses the question ‘what are the variables influencing social interactions and learning during Authentic Early Experience (AEE)?’ AEE is a complex educational intervention for new medical students. Following critique of the existing literature, multiple qualitative methods were used to create a study framework conceptually orientated to a socio-cultural perspective. Study participants were recruited from three groups at one UK medical school: students, workplace supervisors, and medical school faculty. A series of intersecting spectra identified in the data describe dyadic variables that make explicit the parameters within which social interactions are conducted in this setting. Four of the spectra describe social processes related to being in workplaces and developing the ability to manage interactions during authentic early experiences. These are: (1) legitimacy expressed through invited participation or exclusion; (2) finding a role—a spectrum from student identity to doctor mindset; (3) personal perspectives and discomfort in transition from lay to medical; and, (4) taking responsibility for ‘risk’—moving from aversion to management through graded progression of responsibility. Four further spectra describe educational consequences of social interactions. These spectra identify how the reality of learning is shaped through social interactions and are (1) generic-specific objectives, (2) parallel-integrated-learning, (3) context specific-transferable learning and (4) performing or simulating-reality. Attention to these variables is important if educators are to maximise constructive learning from AEE. Application of each of the spectra could assist workplace supervisors to maximise the positive learning potential of specific workplaces.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Authentic early experience, Education undergraduate medical, Qualitative, Socio-cultural, Workplace
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Curriculum and pedagogy
Research Field:Medicine, nursing and health curriculum and pedagogy
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Evaluation of health outcomes
UTAS Author:Hays, RB (Professor Richard Hays)
ID Code:95020
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:18
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2014-09-23
Last Modified:2015-02-10

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