Submission Type

Original Research


Introduction: The focus of feedback in medical education recently shifted to a dialogic partnership between teachers and learners, co-creating effective feedback exchanges. We previously described a prototype, longitudinal 4-year curriculum for medical students to develop feedback-seeking behaviors. We explored the students’ experiences as participants in this novel program.

Methods: Beginning in academic year 2017-2018, we assessed the 4-year experiences of 14 medical students with a phenomenographic, qualitative approach. Three waves of semi-structured, individual interviews were conducted during the first 3 years. Focus groups were conducted in the final year of the program. Meaning units were identified, and categories were determined by such units. An outcome space was created based on an ordered set of categories.

Results: Based on students’ early experience with the curriculum, 4 categories formed the outcome space: prior or lack of experience, factors impacting experience, learning artifice and techniques, and improving feedback skills. A heavy emphasis was placed on the feedback experience related to the climate of the learning environment and the relationship with the feedback-giver. Learning different feedback techniques was important. As the students progressed through medical school while experiencing the feedback curriculum, the outcome space clearly evolved, with a greater emphasis on refining feedback-seeking skills. Students had a stronger growth mindset in tailoring the feedback they sought. Feedback-seeking became a natural and routine habit.

Conclusions: Medical students experienced an evolving emphasis on feedback-seeking. They increasingly recognized the value of effective feedback and confidently embraced feedback-seeking, using a range of techniques and refined approaches.



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