Introduction: Free Open Access Medical education (FOAM) resources have been developed using various needs assessment methods. We describe a storytelling exercise used to identify unperceived medical expert learning needs, which also resulted in the emergence of unknown learning needs within intrinsic physician roles. Methods: A FOAM curriculum was created for thrombosis based on an online needs assessment comprised of a topic listing, case scenarios, and a storytelling exercise. In the storytelling exercise, learners described i) a difficult case in thrombosis, and ii) why that case was difficult. In this qualitative description study, we performed a secondary thematic analysis of this storytelling data, coded for CanMEDS 2015 intrinsic roles. Two investigators independently coded transcripts to iteratively generate a coding framework. Results: 143 respondents completed the storytelling exercise. All responses yielded a gap in medical expertise, while 25 (17.5%) described an additional intrinsic theme. Learning needs in all six intrinsic roles were identified. The most commonly cited learning needs were in the Leader (recognizing how resource allocation impacts healthcare), Communicator (communicating expert knowledge with patients), and Collaborator (unclear communication between providers) domains. Participants who described an intrinsic learning need were primarily from emergency medicine (21/25, 84.0%). These excerpts were notable for how they expressed the complexity and affective components of medicine. Conclusion: Storytelling exercises can highlight context, attitudes, and relationships which provide depth to needs assessments. These narratives are a novel method of capturing emergent learning needs, which may be unknown to learner and faculty (Johari window). These intrinsic learning needs may ultimately be used to enrich learner-centered curricula.