Communicating professional identity in medical socialization: considering the ideological discourse of morning report

Qual Health Res. 2004 Mar;14(3):411-29. doi: 10.1177/1049732303260577.


In this study, the authors investigate how medical ideology and physician professional identity are socially constructed during morning report, a formal teaching conference considered to be a cornerstone of medical education. Analysis of transcripts from 20 meetings reveals physician identity is developed through ideological discourse that produces and reproduces systems of domination that privilege scientific medicine and marginalize humanistic approaches. Findings indicate how, in a socialization context uniquely focused on discourse, communication functions to construct a professional identity grounded in the principles of the biomedical model. Although medical residents deviate from traditional ideology by articulating the voice of the lifeworld, faculty physicians counter these moves by asserting the voice of medicine. The authors draw conclusions regarding identity formation and the socialization practices of medical education.

MeSH terms

  • Communication
  • Education, Medical*
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Midwestern United States
  • Social Identification
  • Socialization
  • Sociology, Medical*