The experiences of medical students from first-in-family (FiF) University backgrounds: A Bourdieusian Perspective from one English Medical School.

Andrew Mark Bassett, Caragh Brosnan, Erica Southgate, Heidi Katharina Lempp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study explored the perspectives of medical students from first-in-family (FiF) university backgrounds. Semi-structured interviews focused on steps into, and experiences of medical education, and effects of student identity on social networks. Twenty FiF medical students from one English medical school took part in qualitative interviews. Data was thematically analysed using Bourdieu’s forms of capital. This research built on an earlier Australian study as part of an international collaboration. The results showed that secondary school/college financial resources for the application to medical school were variable. Medical school was a financial challenge and paid work impacted on academic learning and students’ health. Not having access to medical contacts was a barrier to school work experience and for the medical school application. A lack of cultural capital meant that participants struggled with the medical degree application. Social networks increased at university; however, there was a division along the lines of educational background. Becoming a medical student had an effect on social relationships for many students ambivalent about their new status. Forms of capital were central to participants’ experiences. While financial challenges and work experience barriers need addressing, FiF medical student mentors can play an important role in widening participation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-355
Number of pages25
JournalResearch in Post-Compulsory Education
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2019

Keywords

  • Bourdieusian framework
  • First-in-Family medical student
  • Undergraduate medical education,
  • qualitative methods

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