#KEYLIMEPODCAST 336: Never discuss politics or religion in polite company

In this week’s episode, the co-hosts discuss professional identity formation (PIF), and how it is affected by the society you were raised in – particularly, how PIF might form differently among basic science and clinical teachers in non-Western settings.

Listen here to learn all about it.


KeyLIME Session 336

Listen to the podcast


Mardiastuti et. al., Professional identity formation of medical teachers in a non-Western setting. 2021 Medical Teacher. VOL. 43, NO. 8, 868–873


Lara Varpio (@LaraVarpio)


  • Identity formation: understanding oneself in relation to others and the world at large.
  • Socialization theory: a person learns to function within a particular society or group by internalizing its values and norms.
  • Therefore: PIF in non-Western countries could be very different that PIF in Western countries.


  • RQ: how professional identity forms among basic science and clinical teachers in non-Western settings.

Key Points on the Methods

  • Qualitative study using qualitative description methodology
  • Qualitative description:
    • purpose of this methodology: to describe a phenomenon in the common language of participants with enough detail & nuance to accurately describe the complexity of the phenomenon.
    • little to no interpretive influence
    • analysis: reading of data lines, not reading into, between, over or beyond the data lines
  • Conducted focus groups at each of four different medical schools – two private and two public. And one extra one at one of the public schools.
  • Thematic analysis to identify themes and sub-themes.

Key Outcomes

  • 4 themes:
    1. PIF was strengthened by being thrown into their many roles as teachers – ie teaching, research, role modeling, etc.
    2. Participants’ PIF as teachers was empowered by early career interactions with peers, students, and faculty development programs.
    3. Envisioning the future formed an integral part of participants’ identity formation—encompassing both planning for their own personal and professional development, and for developing the next generation of medical teachers
    4. Internal dialogue between intrinsic values and external influences: participants described how PIF was influenced by their intrinsic values, their religious beliefs, their family background, societal recognition

Key Conclusions

  • “Conducted in a non-Western setting, this study suggests that PIF among medical teachers is influenced by an interplay between internal values and external influences, empowerment through early socialization, experiential workplace learning, and teachers’ envisioning their future. Religious values, family factors, and societal recognition are additional factors that have not been previously reported.” (pg 872)

Access KeyLIME podcast archives here

The views and opinions expressed in this post and podcast episode are those of the host(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. For more details on our site disclaimers, please see our ‘About’ page