Wellness and Resiliency During Residency: Professional Identity Formation (featuring a podcast with Dr. Michael Weinstock)
“So I had medicine in my blood. But just because you have medicine in your blood doesn’t mean that it’s always smooth sailing.” —Michael Weinstock, MD
What is “professional identity formation”?
As Abraham Fuks and colleagues once said, “One does not simply learn to be a physician, one becomes a physician.”1 Professional Identity Formation (PIF) is the slow transformative process by which an idealistic pre-medical college student becomes a battle-hardened emergency physician attending. PIF occurs slowly over years of exposure to the culture of medicine. From Day 1 of medical school, we watch how doctors in the world around us think, teach, feel, and act and slowly absorb those lessons over time, often without even being consciously aware of it happening. These lessons can be inspiring or toxic.