Phenomenological research in medical education: an overview of its philosophy, approaches, and conduct

Shaw, Sebastian C K and Anderson, John L (2018) Phenomenological research in medical education: an overview of its philosophy, approaches, and conduct. In: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2. SAGE. ISBN 9781526447319

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Within this research methods case study, we discuss the case of an interpretive phenomenological study. We outline the methodology, the research process, and the challenges encountered. The project on which this is based explored the experiences of eight U.K. junior doctors with dyslexia. We use this real-life example of interpretive phenomenology to humanize it as a research process. We also highlight its use within a wider research project, concerning the experiences of medical students and junior doctors with dyslexia. Phenomenology is a qualitative methodology, which concerns itself with the study of lived experiences. There are two core and contrasting schools of phenomenology. They are “interpretive” and “descriptive.” Within descriptive phenomenological studies, the researcher is required to “bracket out” their prejudices and pre-conceived ideas before conducting the study. This is not the case within interpretive phenomenology, which instead embraces these in the design and analysis of the study. In this sense, it is well suited to insider-researchers. Seb, as an insider-researcher (a medical student with dyslexia), was therefore well placed to adopt an interpretive phenomenological approach for this study. As an experienced phenomenologist, John was also well placed to supervise it. The research process was emotionally demanding for Seb. However, his insider status helped to establish a sense of camaraderie with participants. He was also able to develop a truly empathic understanding of their experiences. In this sense, the interpretive elements applied through his insider status were used to the benefit of the study.

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Division of Medical Education
Subjects: L Education
R Medicine > R Medicine (General) > R735 Medical education
Depositing User: Dr Sebastian C K Shaw
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2018 09:54
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2018 09:54
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