Pathology Resident Perspectives on Feedback and a Proposed Trainee Curriculum on Giving Feedback

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Objectives: Receiving and reflecting on feedback is a critical skill in medicine. Learning how to provide effective feedback is important in assessment and engendering performance improvement.

Methods: We outline a curriculum for laboratory medicine trainees on providing effective feedback. A group of trainees (26/30 attendees) was surveyed regarding their perspectives on effective feedback and impressions of an educational session focused on how to give effective feedback.

Results: The curriculum involved a 1-hour session focused on how to provide useful feedback. The two presenters used role-plays, group discussion, and didactic talk to present the material. Most attendees (n = 22/26) indicated that regular or frequent effective feedback was important to their learning. When asked, “What makes feedback effective for you?” the most frequent responses were being specific (n = 11) and being balanced (ie, presenting both positives and negative) (n = 10). On a Likert scale (1 = poor; 7 = excellent), attendees rated their ability to give feedback higher after the session (mean, 5.2) vs before the session (mean, 3.8).

Conclusions: Feedback is an important component of assessment and reflective practice. Pathology trainees believe that being specific and balanced were characteristics of effective feedback. It is important to provide training on giving effective feedback to pathology trainees.

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