"Joining the healing community": Images and narratives to promote interprofessional professionalism

David Barnard

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    5 Scopus citations


    The Interprofessional Professionalism Collaborative has proposed the concept interprofessional professionalism to integrate professionalism, traditionally interpreted as a standard of conduct internal to each health profession, with the growing importance of interprofessional collaborative practice. To date, however, concepts and theories promoting interprofessionalism have had difficulty overcoming powerful centripetal forces that draw health professions students ever deeper toward the center of their separate professional identities. Professional identity does not form by concepts and theories alone. Compelling images and narratives that portray the sources and means of health and healing also shape and motivate professional identity formation. In the literature on social support and the social determinants of health, health and healing are social processes, the results of people's embeddedness in supportive social structures and community. In this narrative, becoming a health professional is, metaphorically, the act of "joining the healing community." This is an alternative to dominant narratives in which health and healing appear to be products of technical prowess wielded by individual experts. Reinforcing the metaphor of "joining the healing community" through the formal and informal curriculum might enhance the ability of health professions education to promote professional identity formation that intertwines excellence and mastery in one's own chosen profession with a sincere commitment to collaborative colleagueship.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)244-248
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Allied Health
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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