How can the perceptions and experiences of medical educator stakeholders inform selection into medicine? An interpretative phenomenological pilot study
Attempts to utilise the experiences of stakeholders to better inform selection into medicine are rare in the literature. Published scholarship to date reflects a myriad of competing goals for selecting and graduating 'good doctors' amidst increasingly complex health care environments. This includes debates around what is the 'good doctor', selection methods, health care decision-making, the doctor-patient relationship, patient-centredness, professionalism and stakeholder experiences with
... riences with doctors. Within the complexity manifested by these multiple dimensions, decisions about the characteristics and capabilities on which selection should be based may have privileged some stakeholder groups over others, with patient experiences particularly de-emphasised. The aims of this pilot study were to focus on front-line medical educators as stakeholders whose experiences might be valuable for informing selection into medicine and to inform a larger-scale study of the topic from the perspectives of a more diverse group of stakeholders, including patients. Method Fourteen (14) medical educator participants were recruited for a semi-structured group interview at an international conference for health professional educators. The audio-recording was transcribed verbatim and the raw data were de-identified and organised with the aid of computer assisted data analysis software. Coding was initiated and Smith's interpretative phenomenological analytical (IPA) method employed (Smith, Flowers, & Larkin, 2009) . Results Initial analysis yielded four broad phenomenological themes: perceptions of 'good doctors', selection processes, selection-related challenges and possible solutions. The more deeply experiential data were captured in an analytical Lombard M, Poropat A, Alldridge L, Rogers G MedEdPublish commentary of first-person accounts that may be useful for informing future selection strategies. Participant experiences mirrored the major debates in medical selection but their accounts revealed a negativity and cynicism about the topic that was concerning and warrants further investigation. Conclusion This study contributes to medical student selection research through offering an account of the 'lived experiences' of front-line medical educator stakeholders. Dr Lombard (AFANZAHPE, M. Soc. Sci. (Nursing/Midwifery) RN, RM, IPN, NMCSP) lectures fulltime in Griffith University's School of Medicine and has clinical and research interests in medical education, women's health and community-based nursing and midwifery practice. Dr Poropat's (Bachelor of Arts, B Arts (Hons), M Org Psychology, PhD) work has focused on how personality and relationships guide learning and performance in education and work. His research has been published in Psychological Bulletin and The Lancet, and featured in The New York Times and The Huffington Post. ORCID number: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8496-1815 Associate Professor Alldridge (BSc (Hons) Biology, M Learning and Teaching, PhD) is a fulltime senior academic tutor and the lead for the discipline of cell and molecular biology at Plymouth University. She is leading the design and implementation of a longitudinal, holistic widening participation strategy at Peninsula Medical School that aims to support students from disadvantaged backgrounds to access and succeed in medicine.