The sensemaking narratives of scientists working in health professions education scholarship units: The Canadian experience

Brittany Etmanski
Lara Varpio
Stanley J. Hamstra
Soort article
Original Research
Career success,
Health Professions Education Scholarship Units (HPESU),
Research scientist,
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Introduction To date, research studying health professions education scholarship units has overlooked the perspectives of research scientists in the field, despite their important role in these units. This research explores how health professions education scientists uphold and/or upend the institutional logics of the units they work within.

Methods Recruited via snowball sampling, 29 Canadian health professions education scientists participated in semi-structured interviews that lasted between 32–55 min. Data analysis was informed by the theories of organizational institutionalism—specifically, the microfoundation element of sensemaking.

Results Respondents’ narrations of career success were overtly linked to their research-oriented pursuits above other expectations (i.e., teaching, service).

Discussion Respondents’ narrative revealed a mismatch between the value they associated with teaching- and service-related pursuits, and the value the institution associated with those pursuits. Participants indicated a need to reconceptualize the institutional value associated with these endeavors.


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