All entries for Sunday 02 November 2008
November 02, 2008
My experiences of providing and receiving feedback?
Reflecting on what I do sometimes I have been concerned that I focus too much on examination technique for my own students and trainees as opposed to the performance itself.SO often Ive seen student fail to excell as a result of a lack of a structured approach to their own clinical exams.
So what of my own reflections of feedback on my teaching.
I can honestly say I have not received any feedback which has been critical in nature about any aspect of my teaching. This is likely to be because
- People do not like to criticise their colleagues openly
- The relative effort made to teach by some clinicians is so poor that anything is better than nothing
- Feedback systems are implemented as part of a tick box exercise 'given feedback'
I can recall the last course I went on where I wasn't required to give feedback, and it was a very good course! If we are taught that people learn in 20 minute sections, or cannot concentrate for more than 40 minutes, I would be surprised if there is a single higher medical course running which works on these grounds.
What of my own feedback to others? Limited to the above points
- Its difficult to criticise bad teachers openly. The flaws are often academically, culturally or personally sensitive.
- The problems are so clear to the student (me) that the teacher is lacking so much insight they are unlikely to benefit from comments
- I find myself consistently having to give feedback. I can rarely recall it being purely confidential
Only when the feedback is confidential will I say what I actually think, and I don't mean folding up the piece of paper and handing it back to the lecturer in a group.
As part of my MSc here in Warwick I have been asked to reflect on assessment that I have experienced and my own reflections on these.
I surprised myself by really considering only those assessments that were formative, as these were the only assessments that seemed to stick in my mind. True I've been subject to a number of summative assessments in the past through my medical training, but although they were some of the interactions that mattered most to me as a clinician, in terms of my career and future prospects they are also those that in hard tangible terms mattered the least.
Take the praise from a Vascular surgeon, putting my position opr my ranking as "one of the best", and my pride in this. The indignation of being asked to justify continuing as a trainee in the very hospital I had excelled in, worked for and committed so much time to: outrage at being penalised for success in my previous summative examinations.
"you might go and get an SPR job" before I had even sat the most important assessment of all in my career to date, the MRCP examination.
Yes the MRCP, the exam that I passed, so clearly and held so much pride and belief in, only to see it pass by the wayside as candidates that I felt were "not fit" seemed to walk through the exam with lacklustre knowledge. The same exam that I cherished became less of a trophy and more of a disappointment at times.
What about the people I have assessed? The DOPS Mini CEX, CBD, 360 degree appraisal of my own trainees. My own trainees whose flaws and shining examples of innovation and commitment were so much more important than a piece of paper regarding urethral catherisation. The unfair selection of marks, some given out freely, others so cautiously that there is no real standard.
Assessment is improving, but unfortunately the people who "know" who the failing and shining trainees are are still not being asked. There are some things that can't be measured with a tick box.
The very priorities that drive junior doctors towards these assessments can sometimes count against them. I feel more inclined to support a doctor who puts his patients first and his assessment forms second.