chapter  18
The complex ity of medical educa tion: social iden tity and norm at ive influ ence in well­ being and approaches to learn ing
ByKathleen G. McNeill, Lillian Smyth, Kenneth I. Mavor
Pages 19

In examin ing educa tional processes, research ers often seek to provide general models that can be applied in a broad range of learn ing contexts. While this is a useful pursuit, the current chapter addresses some of the prob lems inher ent in this approach. We invest ig ate the specific context of medical educa tion to demon­ strate that the applic a tion of general models of educa tion may, at times, be complex. Medical educa tion is often treated as a special case in tertiary educa tion. This is because it differs from other discip lines in terms of the breadth of content to be covered, the ways in which the content is taught and the social norms that are preval ent in the medical educa tion setting. These differ ences mean that commonly used educa tional processes and models may produce counter­ intu it ive outcomes in the context of medical educa tion. The current chapter focuses on two broad types of outcomes: student well­ being and student learn ing. These outcomes are the subject of much debate in medical educa tion and repres ent concrete examples of areas in which educa tional models do not apply in the manner we might expect. Our current exam in a tion of medical educa tion demon­ strates the import ance of consid er ing specific contex tual complex it ies and social influ ence processes in apply ing general educa tional models.