December 2017 What I’m Thinking About…

How Will We Know When We Get There?  Musings on Professional Identity Formation in Health Professions Education

Drs. Sandra Jarvis-Selinger, Cheryl Holmes & Ms. Kimberley MacNeil

Date: Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Time: 12:00pm to 1:30pm

  • formal presentations and discussion from 12:00pm – 1:00pm, ongoing moderated discussion 1:00pm – 1:30pm
  • feel free to bring a bagged lunch


  • LSC 1312 (host venue)
  • DHCC 2262
  • CWH SHY F414
  • RCH 025
  • NHSC 9-374
  • MSB 131
  • RJH CA 122
  • KGH CAC 237


  • Web browser VC, conference alias info: 30316, user guide
    Note: If you experience web or VC connection issues, contact MedIT @ 1-877-266-0666, option 2


There is widespread agreement that educators across the health professions should support future practitioners to learn more than objective knowledge and skills by fostering in students a professional attitude that motivates them to attend to the “humane” aspects of health care. Because individuals are more likely to act in line with the values of their profession if they’ve internalised the meaning of their responsibilities as well as their role embedded within their identity, professional identity formation (PIF) is being recommended as an essential component of health professions education. Therefore, a focus on supporting a positive professional identity among developing health care providers might serve as a complement to knowledge- and skill-focused educational approaches in ways that more wholly address the learning and development needs of emerging professionals. In response, there has been an upsurge in educational innovations intended to foster PIF with particular emphasis on engaging students in reflection about their developing identities.  However, there is much to be learned about when and why students take up opportunities to reflect on, and negotiate, their emerging professional identities. In this WITA session, we present various perspectives on why professional identity formation is important to consider; what opportunities are emerging that integrate conversations of professional identity formation into health professions programs; and reflect on the current research and scholarly activity in this field.


    1. Question why it’s important to consider professional identity formation in health professions education
    2. Discuss the opportunities and challenges of how we can support professional identity formation
    3. Reflect on “what’s next” in understanding the research and scholarly activity related to professional identity formation


The University of British Columbia Division of Continuing Professional Development (UBC CPD) is fully accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Continuing Medical Education (CACME) to provide study credits for continuing medical education for physicians. This course has been reviewed and approved by the UBC Division of Continuing Professional Development. This Group Learning course meets the certification criteria of the College of Family Physicians of Canada and has been certified by UBC CPD for up to 1.0 Mainpro+ credits. This course is an Accredited Group Learning Activity eligible for up to 1.0 MOC Section 1 credits as defined by the Maintenance of Certification program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Each physician should claim only those credits he/she actually spent in the activity.

Accredited by UBC CPD