Introducing first year students to interprofessionalism: Exploring professional identity in the "enterprise culture": A Foucauldian analysis

Scott Reeves's picture
Submitted by Scott Reeves on May 20, 2014 - 4:00pm CDT

Resource Type: 
Journal Article

This paper explores the experiences of, and thoughts on, interprofessional learning and care of first year health science students at a large Canadian university within a broad socioeconomic context. We apply discourse analysis to survey data collected to evaluate an introductory interprofessional event involving first year students from a variety of health professions. Follow-up focus-group interviews were conducted to gain greater understanding of student issues and concerns emerging from the survey, providing a second source of data. A significant paper entitled, "Education, enterprise culture and the entrepreneurial self: A Foucauldian perspective" by Peters (2001) provides an historical and theoretical framework for this paper. Peters notes the changing nature of professionalism and global crises in public institutions under neoliberalism as governments divest themselves of social responsibility, shifting it onto individuals through increased privatization and focus on entrepreneurialism. In exploring the thoughts and experiences of students through the historical lens of a shifting professional discourse and changing cultural and political environment, a unique view of professionalism and this interprofessional project comes to light. Reflective of the paradigm shift that Peters documents, there was evidence of students "internalizing" responsibility for a sustainable health care system through acquisition of interprofessional knowledge and behaviours.

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Dale J. DeMatteo
Scott Reeves
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