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Photo of Hirshfield, Laura E.

Laura E. Hirshfield, PhD

The Georges Bordage Medical Education Faculty Scholar and Associate Professor

Director of the Health Professions Education PhD program and the Associate Director of the Master of Health Professions Education program

Department of Medical Education

Pronouns: she/her/hers


Building & Room:

986 CMET


MC 591

Office Phone:

(312) 355-5448


Laura E. Hirshfield is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medical Education and a faculty affiliate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Michigan and her B.A. from Swarthmore College, where she studied Sociology/Anthropology and Education. In her work at UIC, Laura works closely with a variety of trainees, including undergraduates, medical students, residents, faculty, and graduate students (both in Health Professions Education and in Sociology). A sociologist and ethnographer by training, Laura is broadly interested in social interaction, identity, education, science, work/organizations, and medicine. Her main research includes studies focusing on the “hidden labor” undertaken by and expected of members of marginalized groups in the workplace, , professional socialization of health professions trainees, and approaches to integrating scholarship in sociology (and other social sciences) with research in medical education. Her work has been funded by the National Board of Medical Examiners' (NBME) Edward J. Stemmler Medical Education Research Fund, Arnold P. Gold Foundation, the AAMC, and UIC's Chicago Area Study and has been published in Academic Medicine, Medical Education, Social Science & Medicine, and JAMA Surgery.

Laura is the founding director of DME’s new PhD program in Health Professions Education and the Associate Director of the Master of Health Professions Education program. Laura is course director for MHPE 504 (Leadership in Health Profession Education), and two electives (Leadership & Professional Identity and Interviewing & Ethnographic Methods). She also works closely with medical students as the co-advisor for the Student Curricular Board and advisor for the International Medical Students Association. Finally, Laura is a founding member of the Sociologists for Health Professions Education (, a group that aims to bridge disciplinary divides between health professions educators and sociologists.

Research Interest

  • ORCID: 0000-0003-0894-2994
  • Research and Teaching Interests: Socialization, qualitative methods, professional identity, inequality, leadership, and sociology


University of Michigan