Becoming a doctor-The potential of a change laboratory intervention

Tine Lass Klitgaard*, Sofie Gjessing, Mads Skipper, Susanne Backman Nøhr

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


In a previous ethnographic field study, we found that newly graduated doctors (NGDs) found their first months of practice challenging and overwhelming. By including an organisational perspective (Cultural Historical Activity Theory), we were able to identify contextual factors within the hospital organisation, which influence the NGDs' challenges. This raised the question: What can be done about it? To address this, we designed a Change Laboratory intervention (CL), consisting of six sessions, involving NGDs, junior doctors, and consultants across eight departments (on average, 18 doctors participated in each session). Through the CL, the participants were able to get a mutual understanding across departments and develop two initiatives to support the NGDs: An NGD introduction day with a 'need-to-know' focus, where the NGDs meet their future collaborators, and are introduced to important work procedures, and are given the opportunity to establish a peer network. This is followed up by a monthly NGD forum with a 'nice-to-know' focus, where new topics are introduced, allowing time for reflections, and supporting the further strengthening of a peer community. The CL approach promoted agency among participants and the results show how CL offers a unique opportunity for stakeholders to challenge and rethink their work practices within the hospital organisation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMedical Teacher
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)1376-1384
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Change laboratory
  • organisational development
  • participatory research
  • postgraduate medical education
  • transition


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