1 Unit of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Taylor’s University, Malaysia

2 Unit of Public Health, School of Medicine, Taylor’s University, Malaysia


Professional identity formation (PIF) refers to the possession and exhibition of the conduct of a medical
professional. It’s an external representation of a medical personnel’s feelings, beliefs, experiences,
and values that influence the provision of holistic patient care. Apart from training medical students
to be competent and skilled physicians, one of the goals of today’s medical education must be to
encourage them to achieve professional identity formation. Many medical schools across the globe
have made this explicit during the clinical years of study, but we believe that professional identity
formation starts as early as day one of medical school. So, for educators, apart from delivering
basic science subject content during early years of study, the creation of learning opportunities
and pedagogic space in the curriculum to enhance competencies of PIF becomes mandatory. This
competency‑based educational approach will help medical students transform and reconsider their
own values and beliefs by relating to the behaviors that are expected by the profession, colleagues, and
patients when they graduate as medical doctors. In this paper, we discuss how a competency‑based
curriculum should provide opportunities for students to interact and communicate effectively with
patients and colleagues, to self‑reflect on their own personal identity before creating a professional
identity that is unique to the profession, to make the right judgment and confidently practice medicine
in a business‑based healthcare system.


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