Liminality was defined as a state of being “betwixt and between” social roles and/or identities (Turner, 1967). Offering gaps, tensions, and ambiguities, liminal environments enable significant transitions and individuals, or groups change, leaving behind old certainties and social positions to gain new identities, perspectives, and knowledge (Meyer and Land, 2005).
During this final 2021 session of our Virtual Journal Club, we seek to generate a conversation to explore how medicine and medical education enclose rich, challenging and rewarding liminal learning environments. We will approach professional identity (re)crafting, reflection as stemming from a state of undeterminedness and creativity arising from genuine learning encounters that can be transformative. The disruptive COVID-19 pandemic has forced upon us unique individual and collective liminal experiences containing potentially brave and novel paths that can lead to personal reinvention and growth.
A deeper understanding of liminality will enable us, lifelong learners, to yield the benefits of its “fertile emptiness” (Bridges, 1980).
Helena Prior Filipe, MD, MMEd, FSACME, FAMEE
Consultant of Ophthalmology
Hospital Egas Moniz, West Lisbon Hospitals Center (NHS)
Center for Interdisciplinary Investigation of Egas Moniz
Department of Medical Education, Faculty of Medicine, University of Lisbon
Host & Facilitator
Mila Kostic, CHCP, FACEHP
Strategic Advisor, Center for Continuing Medical Education
Stanford University School of Medicine
Browne J. Living comfortably in liminal spaces: Trickster and the medical educator. Med Educ. 2019 Jan;53(1):6-8. doi: 10.1111/medu.13753. PMID: 30549097.
Gordon L, Rees CE, Jindal-Snape D. Doctors' identity transitions: Choosing to occupy a state of 'betwixt and between'. Med Educ. 2020 Nov;54(11):1006-1018. doi: 10.1111/medu.14219. Epub 2020 Jun 23. PMID: 32402133.