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September 23 2009

Why Medical Educators May Be Failing at Feedback

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Medical Education, Maine Medical Center, Portland.

JAMA. 2009;302(12):1330-1331. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1393

In the 25 years since Ende1 published the seminal article on feedback in clinical medical education, many of the concepts have been verified and repeatedly emphasized. However, physicians participating in needs assessments for faculty development frequently cite feedback as an area for improvement.2 Considering the provision of feedback as a competency is quite appropriate, because feedback is an essential skill for learner improvement. Without effective feedback, learners struggle to achieve defined goals. Despite the focus on feedback, learners may still perceive a lack, even when explicitly informed that feedback is occurring. The stark difference between what teachers think they are delivering and what learners think they are receiving begs the question: are medical educators failing at promoting effective feedback?

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