Experiences in the 5th Faculty Development Fellowship Program of the German College of General Practitioners and Family Physicians: a Qualitative Study
DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2012.0030-0036german translation / full article
Background: Beside course related activities, attendees of the 5th faculty development fellowship program of the German College of General Practitioners and Family Physicians had decided to accomplish a joint research project. Recorded group discussions in addition to interviews with designated academic experts (family physicians who successfully completed an academic career) were supposed to be beneficial. The study aimed to explore attendees´ experience with professionalization and the increase of their academic competencies generated by the fellowship program (both individually and as a „scientific community“).
Method: The presented research is designed as a multi-level-approach in the context of sociology of professions. At a first stage, interviews with academic experts (n=4) were conducted. To enable interviewees to develop extempore biographical narration, open questions, flexible use of a topic guide, and interviewees´ pertinence had priority. At the second stage, attendees of the academic training course (n=12) were asked to reflect expert-interviews (group discussion). The analyses of expert-interviews were based upon the concept of Grounded Theory; the analyses of group-discussion were based upon the approach of Discourse Analyses. In addition, narrative analyses (extempore biographical narration) as well as discourse analysis (group discussions) had been of central importance in textual analysis.
Results: The study shows that attendees of the 5th fellowship program consider the specific arrangement of the academic-training course – interviews with academic experts and group discussions – as valuable for academic professionalization. Especially, experts´ biographical storytelling was considered as profitable: Having a look inside of experts socio-biographical processes of professionalization initiated a biographically sum-up to the point of a re-orientation of individual job-related priorities. Furthermore, the academic training course served as a scientific community that exceptionally generates scientific expertise.
Conclusions: To support young academics in family medicine it is necessary to create and improve both, the support and possibilities to manage the gap between practical and academic work, also in combination with individual private life and family. Attendees’ different perceptions and expectations in regard to the achievements of the fellowship program can generate tensions that may put the program itself at risk.