Document Type : Original Article


Edge Hill University Medical School, Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, UK


BACKGROUND: The capacity of self‑authoring one’s own beliefs, identity, and relationships is core
to many expected outcomes of future health‑care professionals. Students’ personal and professional
development for self‑authorship can be promoted by the variety of developmentally effective
“crossroads” experiences that they encounter. Identifying the characteristics of the crossroads
experiences in clinical rotations can provide a foundation for medical educators to provide an
environment that can foster self‑authorship.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cross‑sectional qualitative survey was conducted using a researcher
developed semi‑structured questionnaire which had three open questions and asked medical interns
to describe their internship experiences that stimulated their thinking along the self‑authorship
dimensions of identity, relationships, and ways of knowledge acquisition. Data were analyzed using
Braun and Clarkes’ thematic analysis method.
RESULTS: The survey was completed by 167 medical interns (response rate: 83%). The key features
of significant crossroads experiences and their effects were created into six themes: Experiences by
being respected and validated; experiences by involvement in patient management; experiences by
participation in interactive learning environments; experiences by participation in authentic clinical
work environments; experiences by the observation of professional behaviors; experiences through
the uniqueness of different specialties.
CONCLUSION: Authentic experiences of patient management in the real world of clinical settings with
a high interactive environment have the potential to promote interns’ self‑authorship development.
Educators can support learners by respecting and validating their capacities and by role modeling
of professional behaviors.


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