Communication & Medicine, Vol 15, No 1 (2018)

Nurturing anaesthetic expertise: On narrative, affect and professional inclusivity

Rick Iedema, Christine Jorm
Issued Date: 3 Jul 2019


This article seeks to establish the educational and social significance of narrative and affect in anaesthetic training. Data were obtained from focus group discussions involving three groups of eight (total 24) young anaesthetists from around Australia held at an Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) residential conference. Analysis applied to transcripts of the discussions revealed the prominence of narratives used among trainees and supervisors as a medium for explaining and nurturing anaesthetic expertise. Nurturing expertise was accomplished by sharing narratives about extreme circumstances that highlighted a need for constant vigilance directed towards not just clinical circumstances but also colleagues. The article suggests that the narrative emphasis on remaining vigilant and maintaining personal resourcefulness may explain graduands' tendency towards social exclusivity (avoidance of non-colleague others), and contribute to a better understanding of medicine's professional inclusivity (strong in-group bonding).

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DOI: 10.1558/cam.32897


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