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ERIC Number: EJ1057727
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 36
ISSN: EISSN-1918-2902
A Diverging View of Role Modeling in Medical Education
Sandhu, Gurjit; Rich, Jessica V.; Magas, Christopher; Walker, G. Ross
Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, v6 n1 Article 7 2015
Research in the area of role modeling has primarily focused on the qualities and attributes of exceptional role models, and less attention has been given to the act of role modeling itself (Elzubeir & Rizk, 2001; Jochemsen-van der Leeuw, van Dijk, van Etten-Jamaludin, & Wieringa-de Waard, 2013; Wright, 1996; Wright, Wong, & Newill, 1997). A standardized understanding of role modeling in medical education remains elusive (Kenny, Mann, & MacLeod, 2003). This is problematic given that role modeling is pervasively documented as an approach to teaching (Reuler & Nardone, 1994). Our study attempts to fill a void in this body of research by looking at what faculty are thinking, saying, and doing when they say they are role modeling. Individual semi-structured interviews with faculty members were conducted in the Department of General Surgery at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using qualitative methods for themes surrounding teaching and role modeling. Three major themes emerged from the data: (1) faculty members think they are teaching when they are acting professionally; (2) faculty members become aware of teaching opportunities and act on them; and (3) faculty members employ evidence-based teaching methods, but they are incorrectly labeling them as "role modeling." As a whole, our findings should help distinguish between "role modeling" as roles and responsibilities enacted while doing one's job well, and "teaching" as facilitated instruction that helps connect knowledge with action (Clayton, 2006; Fassbinder, 2007). Contributing to a better understanding of how teaching is separate from role modeling has the potential to improve the scope and quality of teaching, ultimately enhancing the learning experience for trainees.
University of Western Ontario and Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Mills Memorial Library Room 504, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4L6, Canada. Tel: 905-525-9140; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada