Disentangling residents’ engagement with communities of clinical practice in the workplace

  • Francisco M. Olmos-VegaEmail author
  • Diana H. J. M. Dolmans
  • Carlos Guzmán-Quintero
  • Camila Echeverri-Rodriguez
  • Pim W. Teunnissen
  • Renée E. Stalmeijer


Maximising the potential of the workplace as a learning environment entails understanding the complexity of its members’ interactions. Although some articles have explored how residents engage with supervisors, nurses and pharmacists individually, there is little research on how residents enter into and engage with the broader community of clinical practice (CoCP). To this end, we designed a constructivist grounded theory study that took place at Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 13 residents from different training levels and disciplines during the first weeks of their new rotations. During the interviews, we used the Pictor technique as a visual aid to collect data. Using iterative data collection and analysis, constant comparison methods and theoretical sampling, we constructed the final results. When entering a CoCP, residents experienced recurring and intertwined processes including: exploring how their goals and interest are aligned with those of the CoCP; identifying the relevant CoCP members in the workplace environment; and understanding how these members could assist their successful engagement with the community’s practices. Residents entered a CoCP with the intention of either having a central or a peripheral trajectory in it. The final resident participation and role resulted from negotiations between the resident and the CoCP members. Optimising workplace learning includes being mindful as to how each member of the healthcare team influence residents’ engagement on practice, and on understanding the nuances of residents’ participatory trajectories while interacting with them. Understanding such nuances could be key to align CoCPs’ learning affordances and residents’ goals and intentions.


Communities of practice Co-participation theory Interprofessional collaboration Postgraduate medical education Workplace learning 



We would like to thank to all the residents that kindly accepted to participate in this study and to Jeannette Suarez for helping us transcribing all the interviews. We also thank to Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, who funded all this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Anaesthesiology Department, Faculty of MedicinePontificia Universidad JaverianaBogotáColombia
  2. 2.Hospital Universitario San IgnacioBogotáColombia
  3. 3.School of Health Professions Education, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life SciencesMaastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Anthropology Department, Social Sciences FacultyPontificia Universidad JaverianaBogotáColombia
  5. 5.VU University Medical CenterAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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