This project is an ethnographic study of the development of professional identity among medical students in the medical study. The fostering of professional identity and forms of knowledge was a central idea in the Oslo96 reform of the stu dy. The ability to update oneself on new medical knowledge and to communicate with patients, are main challenges for the medical profession and education. The project therefore investigates how students come to understand and internalise the significance of these forms of knowledge as part of their own professional development. Three expositions to illness and patients will be explored through interviews and participant observation, as a case in this point: clinical teaching, dissection and communication training.
The project investigates aspects of former studies that need further attention. (1) How professional socialisation impacts differently among students, (2) the analytical implications this has for understanding learning, socialisation and profe ssional identity, (3) newer studies that asks for further analysis of the significance of early patient contact as a source of development of professional identity.
The project is multidisciplinary in character and crosses the disciplines of medical soci ology, sociology of profession, medical anthropology and pedagogical theories of learning. It both draws on former studies and aims at developing new empirical knowledge and theoretical perspectives. The thesis will be published and conveyed as articles i n International Journals, Oslo University College rapport series, conferences, and is relevant as an empirical investigation of vital goals of the medical education.