How doctors build community and socialize into a clinical department through morning reports. A positioning theory study

Link to article at PubMed

PLoS One. 2023 May 9;18(5):e0284999. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0284999. eCollection 2023.


PHENOMENON: The morning report is one of the longest surviving hospital practices. Most studies of the morning report focus on the effectiveness of formal medical training, while focus on social and communicative aspects is rarer. This study explores the social interactions and communication in morning reports, examining the ways in which they contribute to the construction of professional identity and socialization into the community of the clinical department.

APPROACH: We used a qualitative explorative design with video observations of morning reports. Our data consisted of 43 video-recorded observations (in all, 15.5 hours) from four different hospital departments in Denmark. These were analyzed using the theoretical framework of positioning theory.

FINDINGS: A key finding was that each department followed its own individual structure. This order was not articulated as such but played out implictly. Two alternative storylines unfolded in the elements of the morning report: 1) being equal members of the specialty and department, and 2) preserving the hierarchical community and its inherent positions.

INSIGHTS: The morning report can be seen as playing an important role in community making. It unfolds as a "dance" of repeated elements in a complex collegial space. Within this complexity, the morning report is a space for positioning oneself and others as a collegial "we", i.e., equal members of a department and specialty, at the same time as "having a place" in a hierarchal community. Thus, morning reports contribute to developing professional identity and socialization into the medical community.

PMID:37159463 | PMC:PMC10168562 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0284999

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