Who am I as a Technical Physician? The professional identity of young professionals in an emerging field : An exploratory study into professional identity as a predictor of intended career choice and career development.

Hul, L. van 't (2017) Who am I as a Technical Physician? The professional identity of young professionals in an emerging field : An exploratory study into professional identity as a predictor of intended career choice and career development.

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Abstract:In response to today’s more complex and non-traditional problems, new professions emerge. One of such emerging professions is the Technical Physician (TP). In the study program Technical Medicine (TM), students are educated to become a TP who is the intermediary between physicians and engineers. For TM students it is potentially more difficult to develop a professional identity (PI) as there is no clear group information or stereotype to identify with. PI is the view individuals hold of who they are as professional which likely predicts persistence. Currently it is poorly understood how students learning for an emerging profession develop their PI and how this affects their perception on their career. Therefore, this study filled the literature gap by investigating what the PI of TM students in an emerging profession entails, how this varied across study phase and how PI affected students’ intended career choice, career clarity, exploration and confidence. In total 397 TM students (64% response) participated in the online survey, which consisted of validated scales on five domains of PI (interests, professional goals, values, competences and personality), strength of identification with the role of TP, intended career choice, career clarity, exploration and confidence in a successful career as a TP. Five profiles of PI were identified by means of cluster analysis: the individualist, engineer, all-rounder, security seeker and status driven TM student. The distribution of the profiles differed per study phase as there were more status driven students in the bachelor, and more engineers in the master. Furthermore, the profiles differed in their strength of identification with the role of TP, intended career choice, and career development. The all-rounder, who scored high on medical and technical competences, identified strongest with the profession, had the highest career clarity and was most confident. All profiles were most likely to work as medical specialist, however master students showed the lowest intention. Furthermore, identification and confidence was lower in the end of the bachelor and master, when they had to choose a master or experienced their first internships. This study showed that TM students have different views of who they are as a TP. Furthermore, the more stereotypical students are most confident in their career and most likely to opt for a career as medical specialist or researcher. Acknowledging diversity amongst TM students and providing personalised support in development of self-clarity and –confidence will be beneficial. Especially during internships, students are less confident in their ability to become a successful professional which might be a result of the absence of TP in role models in clinical practice to identify with. Supporting students in these critical moments and providing students with role models, and also less-stereotypical ones, will facilitate the development of a fitting PI.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:81 education, teaching
Programme:Educational Science and Technology MSc (60023)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/72417
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