, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 111-116

Giving feedback in medical education

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: We investigated naturally occurring feedback incidents to substantiate literature-based recommended techniques for giving feedback effectively.

SETTING: A faculty development course for improving the teaching of the medical interview, with opportunities for participants to receive feedback.

PARTICIPANTS: Seventy-four course participants (clinician-educators from a wide range of medical disciplines, and several behavioral scientists).

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: We used qualitative and quantitative approaches. Participants provided narratives of helpful and unhelpful incidents experienced during the course and then rated their own narratives using a semantic-differential survey. We found strong agreement between the two approaches, and congruence between our data and the recommended literature. Giving feedback effectively includes: establishing an appropriate interpersonal climate; using an appropriate location; establishing mutually agreed upon goals; eliciting the learner’s thoughts and feelings; reflecting on observed behaviors; being nonjudgmental; relating feedback to specific behaviors; offering the right amount of feeback; and offering suggestions for improvement.

CONCLUSIONS: Feedback techniques experienced by respondents substantiate the literature-based recommendations, and corrective feedback is regarded as helpful when delivered appropriately. A model for providing feedback is offered.