Funded PhD Studentship (3 years full-time)

Retention and success in healthcare education: exploring the influence of gendered identities in male- and female-dominated healthcare environments

College of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing, University of Dundee

The internationally renowned Centre for Medical Education (CME) at the University of Dundee is offering one funded 3 year full-time PhD studentship to start on 1st October 2013 and finish on 30th September 2016.  

Candidates must have a minimum First Class (or 2.1) Honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject (e.g. education, psychology, sociology, anthropology, human resources management, healthcare or related discipline).  A Masters in health professions education is desirable but not essential.  

The supervisory team includes three supervisors, all medical education researchers, with different social sciences backgrounds: Professor Charlotte Rees (Dundee), Dr Maria Tsouroufli (Dundee) and Dr Lynn Monrouxe (Cardiff).  

This generous studentship includes tuition fees (£3,905 in year 1 rising to £4,062 in year 3), student stipend (£13,861 in year 1 rising to £14,422 in year 3), plus additional financial support for student training (£850 per year). 

Prospective students are encouraged to discuss their suitability for application with the principal supervisor.  Please contact Professor Charlotte Rees, 01382 381971.
To apply, please submit the following documents to by Friday 12th July 2013: 

Cover letter 
Academic CV
Official academic transcripts
Contact details for two suitable referees
Interviews are likely to be held in July/August 2013.

For further details about the Centre for Medical Education, and the College of Medicine, Dentistry, and Nursing Graduate School check out the University of Dundee website: (Centre for Medical Education) and (Graduate School).

Brief project details
Healthcare students’ workplace learning experiences are influenced by gender, and their experiences can be particularly problematic in gender-discordant (e.g. male student in nursing, female medical student in surgery) rather than gender-concordant professions/specialties (e.g. male student in medicine, female medical student in obstetrics and gynaecology).  We know that these differential learning experiences can influence adversely the success of students within those specialties and if students have negative learning experiences within particular specialties they are typically motivated to avoid pursuing a career within those specialties (Drinkwater et al. 2008; Rees et al. 2013; Stratton et al. 2005).  Ultimately, attrition rates for male and female healthcare students are high for gender-discordant professions and specialties (McLaughlin et al. 2010).  

This PhD study will explore healthcare students’ lived experiences of gender-discordant and concordant clinical environments to understand the influence of multiple intersecting identities on retention and success (Tsouroufli et al. 2011). The study will employ a qualitative narrative approach in two parts: (i) Secondary analysis of a large dataset of male and female healthcare students’ narratives of negative workplace learning experiences (Monrouxe & Rees 2012; Rees et al. 2013); and (ii) Primary empirical longitudinal audio-diary study of male and female healthcare students in gender-discordant and concordant placement experiences (Monrouxe 2009).  

Understanding the relationships between gender, retention and success within healthcare education is critical for the development of educational policy and practice around workforce planning.  We anticipate the PhD student will disseminate his or her findings to governmental bodies responsible for workforce planning in order to shape future policy; and translating their findings back into educational practice within clinical workplaces and healthcare schools to inculcate educational change.  

Drinkwater J, et al. The effect of gender on medical students’ aspirations: a qualitative study.  Medical Education 2008;42:420-426.
McLaughlin K, et al. Gender, gender roles and completion of nursing education: A longitudinal study.  Nurse Education Today 2010;30:303-307.
Monrouxe LV. Solicited audio diaries in longitudinal narrative research: a view from inside. Qualitative Research 2009;9:81-103.
Monrouxe LV, Rees CE. “It’s just a clash of cultures”: emotional talk within medical students’ narratives of professionalism dilemmas.  Advances in Health Sciences Education 2012; 17(5):671-701.
Rees CE, et al. Narrative, emotion, action: Analysing ‘most memorable’ professionalism dilemmas. Medical Education 2013;47(1):80-96. 
Stratton TD, et al. Does students’ exposure to gender discrimination and sexual harassment in medical school affect specialty choice and residency program selection? Academic Medicine 2005;80(4):400-408.
Tsouroufli M, et al. Gender, identities and intersectionality in medical education research.  Medical Education 2011;45:213-216.
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