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Inward- and outward-looking: Autoethnography in medical education

Date:  Friday 27 August 
Time:  0930-1230

Facilitators:

  • Ana Baptista

ABSTRACT:

Summary of Theme and Why it is Important: Autoethnography is a form of qualitative research anchored in personal and reflective ways of looking at lived experiences to describe and critique cultural/social/political/educational beliefs, practices, experiences and theories. Autoethnography is a methodological and creative research tool with which we can reflect on Higher Education teaching and learning, medical education, and that can be transferable to other settings or contexts. 

Autoethnography has the potential to give access to diverse experiences and add new – and unusual – voices to academic narratives and discussions due to its inward-looking stance.  Although established in some academic areas, it continues to be a somewhat marginalised qualitative research method in medical education. The potential of autoethnography is however huge and recognised by those who write and study autoethnography: 

- It disrupts norms of research practice;

- It works with/from insider and more authentic knowledge; 

- It breaks silences, (re)claims voices, and the right to writing, being this a more equitable space for diverse narratives to be discussed and shared. 

The workshop will have the following scaffolded structure:

1) Seminar-style presentation about what autoethnography is, what constitutes autoethnographic data, quality criteria and ethically sound autoethnography;

2) Reading and reflection on selected autoethnographic excerpts on Higher Education teaching and learning in medical education;

3) Individual ‘thinking and writing up’ moment, using a guide developed by the facilitator/presenter, on current and future practice(s) for medical education, followed by collective discussion.


What participants will gain: At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to (i) understand autoethnography as a form of qualitative research method, (ii) analyse autoethnographic texts on medical education in Higher Education, (iii) use more or less creative ways to write an autoethnographic study, and (iv) develop an autoethnographic piece of writing.

Who should participate: This workshop is aimed at all who want to expand their research repertoire, particularly in relation to a qualitative method that may not yet be considered mainstream in medical education. The link between personal experiences with theories and current academic narratives/discussions makes autoethnography an exciting method to approach medical education topics from an in-depth perspective.

Level of workshop: Introductory

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