‘Us versus them’: A social identity perspective of internal medicine trainees

Joanne Kerins
Samantha Eve Smith
Victoria Ruth Tallentire
Soort article
Original Research
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Introduction Silos and group boundaries in the clinical workplace can result in interprofessional conflict which can be a source of anxiety for doctors in training. The social identity perspective (SIP) incorporates theories of social identity and self-categorisation, and may provide a useful lens to understand the socialisation and identity development of doctors. This study aimed to determine if and how the SIP may provide insight into intergroup relations as experienced by internal medicine (IM) trainees in Scotland.

Methods Interprofessional communication workshops hosted as part of an IM boot camp between August 2020 and March 2021 were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Subsequent individual interviews with consenting trainees further explored social identity and intergroup relations. Data analysis employed template analysis and deductive independent coding with the SIP informing the initial coding template and new codes added inductively.

Results Seventeen workshops, involving 100 trainees, and ten subsequent individual interviews were in-cluded. Trainees related to the social identity of an IM doctor and to stereotypes within the workplace. They described intergroup tensions resulting from a perception of differing priorities. They experienced outgroup derogation and the impact of role modelling those in their social group during their identity development.


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