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Mapping a surgeon's becoming with Deleuze
  1. Sayra Cristancho1,
  2. Tara Fenwick2
  1. 1Department of Surgery, Centre for Education Research & Innovation (CERI), Faculty of Education, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2School of Education, University of Stirling, Stirling, UK
  1. Correspondence to Sayra Cristancho, Department of Surgery, Faculty of Education, Centre for Education Research & Innovation, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, Health Sciences Addition, Room 110B, London, Ontario N6A 5C1, Canada; Sayra.Cristancho{at}


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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