5. Developing professional identity for competence, resilience and employability

Dr Elizabeth Armitage-Chan, Associate Professor in Veterinary Education, RVC

Veterinary students need to be equipped with skills beyond those in clinical and scientific decision-making. In order for them to provide a valuable service to their clients and patients, as well as work within the constraints of veterinary practice, graduates need to find ways to apply their clinical knowledge to a wide range of contexts. They also need to appreciate a sense of success from doing so and find ways to manage themselves when cases (and the clients that accompany them) don’t go well.

This workshop will be useful for individuals who develop professional studies courses, but also for those who wish to foster professional competence and decision-making in their wider teaching practice or educational strategy. It has been developed to be useful to individuals in all aspects of student development, for example those involved in clinical rotations, teaching design and delivery, assessment, recruitment and admissions.

The workshop will firstly explore what is meant by professional identity, and discuss why it contributes to competent, confident and resilient veterinary graduates.
Successful professional development requires not only the integration of concepts across the curriculum, but also the embedding of these into institutional culture. The second part of the workshop will therefore include examples of how identity is appropriately and inappropriately formed, and participants will discuss how strategies to support identity formation can feasibly be embedded into their own part of veterinary education.