Abstract: Self-regulation, self-assessment and feedback are becoming watchwords in professional education. As the expectations for professional accountability have increased, efforts have been made to provide timely feedback to practitioners about their practice. One widely used approach to gathering feedback is through multisource feedback. The underlying assumption is that providing professionals with feedback regularly will enable them to identify potential opportunities for practice improvement, which they will be able to incorporate into their practice. At all levels of education, feedback is a powerful and essential aspect of effective learning.
Self-regulation is an expectation of the practicing professional. An essential aspect of self-regulation is self-assessment. Yet consistent evidence across many fields shows that we are poor at accurately assessing our own performance. One approach to enhancing the accuracy of self-assessment is to ensure that it is ‘informed’ by feedback sources in addition to one’s own perceptions.

In this seminar, I will describe how our team of investigators began with the question of ‘how do practicing physicians respond to participating in a multisource feedback process, and how useful is the feedback in helping them to make practice improvements? ‘.To our surprise, although feedback was generally desired, it was not always well accepted and therefore, not useful to the practitioner. Further exploration uncovered the critical influence of the individual’s own self- assessment, and whether or not it was congruent with the feedback received.

This finding led us to embark on a study of ‘informed self-assessment, to understand how learners at all stages of medical education informed their self-assessment, to answer the question’ how am I doing?. A study conducted in 5 countries enabled us to develop a model of informed self- assessment and to understand some of the complex factors, interactions and tensions that affected the acceptance and use of feedback. We also conducted a study of residents and faculty members’ views of seeking and receiving feedback, and the enablers and challenges in that process.

Our earlier work on MSF had revealed that even challenging feedback could be useful, if the practitioner was assisted to reflect on the feedback. This finding led to the development of a model for facilitated reflection, which we are currently testing. The seminar will highlight the research questions along the way, the findings we have to date, as well as the questions which remain to be addressed.

Biography: Dr. Mann is Professor Emeritus in the Division of Medical Education, Dalhousie University where she was founding Director (1995-2006), and Professor of Medical Education at Manchester Medical School, UK. She is involved in teaching, supervision, research and development and writing across the medical education continuum, and in higher education degree programs for health professions faculty. Dr. Mann is co-editor of a medical education textbook: Medical Education: Theory and Practice (2010). She has published widely in the medical education literature .Current research interests include self-assessment and feedback, reflection, and faculty development. She has She serves on several editorial boards, including Academic Medicine, Medical Education, the Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions, and the Canadian Journal of Medical Education.

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