Mapping a surgeon's becoming with Deleuze

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Abstract

The process of ‘becoming’ shapes professionals’ capability, confidence and identity. In contrast to notions of rugged individuals who achieve definitive status as experts, ‘becoming’ is a continuous emergent condition. It is often a process of struggle, and is always interminably linked to its environs and relationships. ‘Becoming’ is a way of understanding the tensions of everyday practice and knowledge of professionals. In this paper, we explore the notion of ‘becoming’ from the perspective of surgeons. We suggest that ‘becoming’, as theorised by Deleuze, offers a more nuanced understanding than is often represented using conventional vocabularies of competence, error, quality and improvement. We develop this conception by drawing from our Deleuze-inspired study of mapping experience in surgery. We argue for Deleuzian mapping as a method to research health professionals’ practice and experience, and suggest the utility of this approach as a pedagogical tool for medical education.

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