, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 133-140

A Broader Theoretical Model for Feedback in Ambulatory Care

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Ask faculty if they provide feedback and they will likely reply “Sure, it's important, I do it all the time”. Ask medical students if they receive feedback and they may say, “We hardly ever get it”. Ask most residents if they receive feedback and you get “Rarely, but it's not that helpful anyway”. How is it that these perceptions are so strikingly different? Can they be talking about the same thing? If we wish to improve the educational value of feedback, we must understand these differences. One useful clue is provided by the adage “do as I say, not as I do”. This saying suggests that there are two types of feedback: that which we can measure against a standard and describe (traditional feedback), and that which comes from being immersed in real situations (situated feedback). This dichotomy is a useful construct from which to understand feedback.

This revised version was published online in July 2006 with corrections to the Cover Date.