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Although identity research in organizations has increased in recent years, none of the current perspectives has examined the role of emotion for understanding how individuals construct and enact professional identity. In this paper we examine how emotions affect the development, conduct and meanings of professional identity among a sample of 20 doctor managers from two Spanish hospitals. While not excluding other approaches, we found that a social identity approach was especially useful. The contribution of this paper is threefold. First, our results provide new insights about how, in a work setting, emotions prioritize awareness of identity issues that need attention. Second, we discuss the role of emotions for understanding complex role identities by reference to the enactment of different sides of doctor managers' identities. Third, we show how our analysis of the findings may be used to embellish the social identity approach.