Project details


Impact of professional habitus/culture on Interprofessional Education in maternity care

medical education qualitative research interprofessional education

drs. M.A.C. Versluis
Marco CarvalhoFilho

Type of project:
Pilot project (year 2 or 3) of Stage Wetenschap / Researchproject

Nature of the research:
Ethnography combined with semistructured interviews and/or focus group discussions

Fields of study:
health sciences gynaecology obstetrics

Background / introduction
Over the last decades, healthcare has undergone a transformation. Both demographics/epidemiology as well as population demands have changed tremendously. Impressive technological innovations have been made. And more (different) healthcare employees have been added to the workforce.(1) Interprofessional collaboration (IPC) is therefore more important than ever and future care providers must be prepared for this. Interprofessional education (IPE) takes place when students from different courses learn with, from and about each other. It is necessary to train the caregivers that are able to navigate the future landscape of practice. (2-5) There are various educational theories that relate to IPE, such as: social constructivism, social learning theory, contextual learning and collaborative learning. Based on these theories, the department of gynecology and obstetrics has implemented an innovative IPE activity where students in nursing, midwifery and medicine care for patients together.

These three different professions have a different professional culture. These differences in culture have an impact on interprofessional education and collaboration. For example, power dynamics have an influence on learning. (6) However, culture as a concept is not well described within medical education. (6-8)
Research question / problem definition
In this study we aim to describe professional culture within the context of medical education.
Two questions are central to this research project:
1. How can professional habitus / culture best be described within the context of medical education?
2. How does professional habitus / culture impact interprofessional learning?
This is an ethnographic study investigating professional habitus / culture on a maternity ward in an academic hospital in Groningen.
In this project we aim to collaborate with students from social sciences and to start in februari 2023. During this science elective (stage wetenschap) you have the opportunity to gain experience with scientific research within medical education. There is much interaction with the various stakeholders and the research group. We are therefore looking for a communicative student with an interest in the subject and affinity with medical education. The research will be part of a research line on the subject of IPE within the department of obstetrics and gynaecology.
(1) Frenk J, Chen L, Bhutta ZA, Cohen J, Crisp N, Evans T, et al. Health professionals for a new century: transforming education to strengthen health systems in an interdependent world. Lancet 2010 December 04;376(9756):1923-1958.
(2) Paradis E, Whitehead CR. Beyond the Lamppost: A Proposal for a Fourth Wave of Education for Collaboration. Acad Med 2018 October 01;93(10):1457-1463.
(3) Stalmeijer RE, Varpio L. The wolf you feed: Challenging intraprofessional workplace-based education norms. Med Educ 2021 August 01;55(8):894-902.
(4) Gilbert JH, Yan J, Hoffman SJ. A WHO report: framework for action on interprofessional education and collaborative practice. J Allied Health 2010 January 01;39 Suppl 1:196-197.
(5) Reeves S, Pelone F, Harrison R, Goldman J, Zwarenstein M. Interprofessional collaboration to improve professional practice and healthcare outcomes. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2017 June 22;6(6):CD000072.
(6) Looman N, van Woezik T, van Asselt D, Scherpbier-de Haan N, Fluit C, de Graaf J. Exploring power dynamics and their impact on intraprofessional learning. Med Educ 2022 April 01;56(4):444-455.
(7) Bearman M, Mahoney P, Tai J, Castanelli D, Watling C. Invoking culture in medical education research: A critical review and metaphor analysis. Med Educ 2021 August 01;55(8):903-911.
(8) Watling CJ, Ajjawi R, Bearman M. Approaching culture in medical education: Three perspectives. Med Educ 2020 April 01;54(4):289-295.
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