Exploring Professional Anticipatory Socialization: Who Are the Messengers Influencing Future Physicians' Perceptions of Advanced Practice Providers?

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



The journal of physician assistant education : the official journal of the Physician Assistant Education Association




PURPOSE: Evidence exists that physicians in training and practice often do not understand advanced practice providers (APPs) and their roles in professional practice. This study asked the question: What are the messages and messengers during the anticipatory professional socialization period that potentially influence how residents perceive APPs? METHODS: Semistructured interviews were conducted with 15 residents in one academic setting. Transcripts were analyzed using an inductive approach to coding to identify the messages and sources of those messages (messengers) that had influenced how residents perceived APPs. RESULTS: Participants reported limited exposure to APPs before medical school, although most had heard of APPs from family, friends, or advisors or through their own experience in a clinical setting. The messages that participants received were related to how physicians and APPs compare in their training and clinical roles, and how APPs and physicians (and the people who pursue these professions) differ based on their presumed personal attributes. Some messages appeared to support biases against APPs. CONCLUSION: While interprofessional education in medical school aims to prepare physicians to collaborate across professions, attention to anticipatory professional socialization occurring before medical school may also be important to mitigate professional biases that interfere with effective teamwork.


Clinical Research and Leadership