PhD student spotlight: identity in medical practice

Hear from PhD student Josh Waring on his project, supervised by DME’s Professor Elizabeth Molloy, Dr Anna Ryan and Professor Richard O’Brien.

Josh Waring

I have been a Clinical Supervisor at the Austin Clinical School since 2012, having found medical education to be more exciting than clinical medicine!

I commenced a PhD this year after developing an interest in professional identity formation. My interest lies in how students construct relationships between their multiple personal identities and their emerging identity as a doctor. I am currently exploring the possibility of focusing my research on professional identity formation in sexual- and gender-minority medical students after some excellent inspiration from a prominent academic in this area.

I believe this area of medical education research is important to understand in greater depth as it can have profound effects on individuals. As Carrie Costello states in her excellent book Professional Identity Crisis, “integrating new professional identities into personal identities is an easy process for people whose personal identities are consonant with their new professional role, but traumatic for those whose personal identities are dissonant with it”.