Acceptability of peer clinical observation by faculty members.

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Most doctors are not observed in the actual practice of medicine after they complete training. Direct observation and feedback are seen as invaluable in learning in most other professions, at formative stages of medical training and in other aspects of academic medicine, yet are not performed at the level of the independently practicing clinician. Creating an opportunity for faculty member development based on observation of clinical practice is needed for continued growth and competence as a clinician.


Independently practicing clinicians within our practice volunteered to both observe and be observed by a colleague in clinical practice, and then both give and receive feedback. Pairs of clinicians with similar experience levels were created. The person being observed set the ground rules for feedback to promote a safe environment.


Most respondents found both observing and being observed useful, comfortable experiences, which were better than most other continuing professional development (CPD) initiatives. Both observing and being observed seemed to lead to reflection on practice and a change in practice by most participants. Most respondents would like to participate again. Both observing and being observed seemed to lead to reflection on practice DISCUSSION: Next steps include expanding the programme within our group and to other departments within our institution. There is potential to use this programme as a model for CPD credit. An intradepartmental programme in which participants receive CPD credit for the observation of their practice of medicine could meet the primary goal of CPD, ensuring doctors are competent and continue to develop in an efficient, meaningful and cost-effective way.

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