The successful development of a professional identity is paramount to becoming a successful doctor. This study investigates medical students’ professional identity formation over time through the analysis of their narrative accounts of events recorded during their first two years of medical school using longitudinal audio diaries. The data was analysed for underlying narrative plotlines. Six dominant discourses from societal narratives about doctors and medicine were found within the students’ narratives: The Privilege narrative, the Gratitude narrative, the Certainty of Medicine narrative, the Good Doctor narrative, the Healing Doctor narrative, and the Detached Doctor narrative. A further two narrative plotlines were identified as emerging narratives that contest master narratives and which are frequently found in the current culture within a modern medical school: the Informed Servant narrative and the Uncertainty of Medicine narrative. Following an overview of these narrative plotlines identified within medical students’ audio diaries, a single event narrative is presented in full, in order to provide a deeper understanding of how these are played out as medical students try to make sense of the events they experience and of their own development as a doctor.
Recommended CitationMonrouxe, Lynn V., Negotiating professional identities: dominant and contesting narratives in medical students’ longitudinal audio diaries, Current Narratives, 1, 2009, 41-59.