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Journal of Medical Humanities

, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 529–551 | Cite as

Resident Self-Portraiture: A Reflective Tool to Explore the Journey of Becoming a Doctor

  • Christy L. TharenosEmail author
  • Amber M. Hayden
  • Emily Cook
Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Resident physicians Arts-based research Photography Self-portrait Physician burnout 

Notes

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.

Ethical Approval

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

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Heartland Health ServicesPeoriaUSA
  2. 2.Cabarrus Family Medicine- HarrisburgHarrisburgUSA
  3. 3.Intermountain HealthcareSouth OgdenUSA

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