A frame is an interpretive scheme of meanings that guide participants’ interpretations of social interaction and their actions in social situations (Goffman, 1974). By identifying early-career physicians’ identity and relationship frames, this study aims to produce information about socially constructed ways to interpret leadership communication in a medical context.
The data consist of essays written by young physicians (n = 225) during their specialization training and workplace learning period. The analysis was conducted applying constructive grounded theory.
Three identity and relationship frames were identified: the expertise frame, the collegial frame and the system frame. These frames arranged the meanings of being a physician in a leader-follower relationship differently.
The findings suggest that identity questions discussed recently in medical leadership studies can be partly answered with being aware of and understanding socially constructed and somewhat contradictory frames.
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