“Ego massaging that helps”: a framework analysis study of internal medicine trainees’ interprofessional collaboration approaches

Joanne Kerins (Lead / Corresponding author), Samantha Eve Smith, Victoria Ruth Tallentire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Introduction: Patient care depends on collaborative practice. Debate remains as to the best approach to providing education for collaboration, with educational interventions often far removed from the realities of the clinical workplace. Understanding the approaches used for collaboration in clinical practice could inform practical strategies for training. For internal medicine trainees, this involves collaboration with other professions but also with other specialties. This study aimed to explore the approaches that internal medicine trainees use for interprofessional collaboration and the ways that these approaches vary when internal medicine trainees interact with different healthcare provider groups. 

Methods: Following ethical approval and participant consent, interprofessional communication workshops between August 2020 and March 2021 were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Workshops involved groups of internal medicine trainees discussing collaboration challenges and the approaches they use in clinical practice. This framework analysis study used the interprofessional collaboration framework described by Bainbridge and Regehr (building social capital, perspective taking and negotiating priorities and resources), and cross-referenced the categorised data with the healthcare groups that trainees collaborate with, to look for patterns in the data. 

Results: Seventeen workshops, involving 100 trainees, were included. Trainees described relationship building, perspective taking and negotiating priorities and resources. Relationship building was a modification to the original framework domain of building social capital. Themes of power and civility transcended domains with evidence of using hierarchy as leverage when negotiating and employing civility as a tactical approach throughout. 

Discussion: This bi-dimensional analysis highlights patterns of perspective taking when collaborating with other specialties and professions, and the approaches to negotiation of courting favour and coercion when interacting with other specialties. This study provides evidence of the strategies currently utilised by internal medicine trainees, with different healthcare groups, and presents a modified framework which could inform the development of training for collaboration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2243694
Number of pages10
JournalMedical Education Online
Issue number1
Early online date3 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • continuing professional development
  • framework analysis
  • internal medicine
  • Interprofessional collaboration
  • qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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