Medical students form their professional identity during all four years of training from the initial White Coat ceremony through the formal swearing of the Hippocratic Oath at graduation. The process of formation really pertains to a student’s very being: attitudes and biases, affective self-awareness, empathy, emotional intelligence, communicative skills, and virtues ranging from humility and diligence to altruism and self-care. Stony Brook has from inception produced physician humanists who are empathically attentive to the illness experience of patients to complement their technological and scientific skills. Professional identity formation (PIF) refers to the growth over time in becoming a “good” physician.
We conceptualize PIF with three integrated concentric circles expanding outwards to form a trajectory for becoming effective humanistic physicians. The three elements have a natural order that helps students shape their professional identity while nurturing core values. Click here to learn more.