In Pursuit of Educational Integrity: Professional Identity Formation in the Harvard Medical School Cambridge Integrated Clerkship

Perspect Biol Med. 2017;60(2):258-274. doi: 10.1353/pbm.2017.0032.


Graduates of Harvard Medical School's Cambridge Integrated Clerkship (CIC) describe several core processes that may underlie professional identity formation (PIF): encouragement to integrate pre-professional and professional identities; support for learner autonomy in discovering meaningful roles and responsibilities; learning through caring relationships; and a curriculum and an institutional culture that make values explicit. The authors suggest that the benefits of educational integrity accrue when idealistic learners inhabit an educational model that aligns with their own core values, and when professional development occurs in the context of an institutional home that upholds these values. Medical educators should clarify and animate principles within curricula and learning environments explicitly in order to support the professional identity formation of their learners.

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Models, Educational
  • Organizational Culture
  • Professional Competence*
  • Schools, Medical / organization & administration*
  • Students, Medical*