Resident Self-Portraiture: A Reflective Tool to Explore the Journey of Becoming a Doctor
This arts- based project creatively introduces residents to photography, self-portraiture and narratives to document the longitudinal journey of becoming a family physician. Visual arts and writing can foster reflection: an important skill to cultivate in developing physicians. Unfortunately, arts based programs are lacking in many residency programs. Tools and venues that nourish physician well being and resilience may be important in today’s changing healthcare environment and epidemic of physician burnout. Residents created self-portraits with accompanying narratives throughout their three-year training. Analysis of the portraits and accompanying narratives completed the assessment. Residents created a body of work that includes 182 creative and deeply personal portraits and narratives. The five most frequent themes of portraits included “Residency is Difficult,” “Hobbies,” “Family,” “Growing as a Doctor,” and “Coping Mechanisms.” Self-portrait photography and reflection gives insight into the journey of becoming a family medicine physician at a deeply personal and professional level. Further partnerships between residency programs and the arts should be explored to promote reflection.
KeywordsResident physicians Arts-based research Photography Self-portrait Physician burnout
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Author A declares that she has no conflict of interest. Author B declares that she has no conflict of interest. Author C declares that she has no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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