Ad hoc supervision of general practice registrars as a 'community of practice': analysis, interpretation and re-presentation

T Clement, J Brown, J Morrison, D Nestel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

General practice registrars in Australia undertake most of their vocational training in accredited general practices. They typically see patients alone from the start of their community-based training and are expected to seek timely ad hoc support from their supervisor. Such ad hoc encounters are a mechanism for ensuring patient safety, but also provide an opportunity for learning and teaching. Wenger’s (Communities of practice: learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge University Press, New York, 1998) social theory of learning (‘communities of practice’) guided a secondary analysis of audio-recordings of ad hoc encounters. Data from one encounter is re-presented as an extended sequence to maintain congruence with the theoretical perspective and enhance vicariousness. An interpretive commentary communicates key features of Wenger’s theory and highlights the researchers’ interpretations. We argue that one encounter can reveal universal understandings of clinical supervision and that the process of naturalistic generalisation allows readers to transfer others’ experiences to their own contexts. The paper raises significant analytic, interpretive, and representational issues. We highlight that report writing is an important, but infrequently discussed, part of research design. We discuss the challenges of supporting the learning and teaching that arises from adopting a socio-cultural lens and argue that such a perspective importantly captures the complex range of issues that work-based practitioners have to grapple with. This offers a challenge to how we research and seek to influence work-based learning and teaching in health care settings
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-437
Number of pages23
JournalAdvances in Health Sciences Education
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016

Keywords

  • Ad hoc supervision
  • Clinical supervision
  • Communities of practice
  • General practice
  • Identity
  • Legitimate peripheral participation
  • Naturalistic generalisation
  • Socio-cultural theory
  • Power
  • Situated learning

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