Exploring unlearning in the process of Professional Identity Formation (PIF)

Shamalee Wasana Jayarathne, Lambert Schuwirth

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

27 Downloads (Pure)


Medical Professional Identity Formation (PIF) has been suggested as a fundamental outcome in medical education (Cruess et al., 2014). Medical professional identity is development of both personal and professional identity as a physician. PIF achieved in stages over time during which the characteristics, values, and norms of the medical profession are internalised, resulting in individual thinking, acting, and feeling like a physician (Cruess et al., 2014). It is basically not a process of learning to demonstrate professional behaviour but of change into a “professional being” or professional physician. Throughout the journey of PIF, moments of dissonance between personal values and professional values are likely to occur. So logically, there will be phases of learning and unlearning. Learning is generally well-defined, but unlearning has been conceptualised through different lenses both on the process of unlearning and the unlearnt content, leading to conflicting views.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-108
Number of pages3
JournalAsia Pacific Scholar
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Professional identity formation
  • medical education
  • medical profession
  • Professional behaviour


Dive into the research topics of 'Exploring unlearning in the process of Professional Identity Formation (PIF)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this