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Guidance on Reflection

In 2018 a new piece of guidance was published to support doctors with reflection. It has been co-produced by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC), the Conference of Postgraduate Medical Deans (COPMED), the General Medical Council (GMC) and the Medical Schools Council (MSC).

Below you will find links to a copy of the guidance and a summary. Also available is a toolkit that the AoMRC and COPMED have developed. It includes a number of templates and examples for use alongside this guidance.

The Reflective Practitioner - Guidance for doctors and medical students

The Reflective Practitioner - Summary

The guidance was developed following calls from doctors, responsible officers and appraisers, for clearer information on what is meant by reflection, and how those in training and engaging in revalidation should reflect as part of their practice. The authors are grateful to those, from all four countries of the UK, who have been involved in shaping the guidance, including doctors in training, medical students, appraisers, educators and trainers.

The guidance outlines the importance of reflection for personal development and learning; it highlights how reflection can help doctors and medical students to maintain and improve their professional practice, and drive improvements in patient safety. It emphasises ten key elements of being a reflective practitioner, including how reflection is personal; that there is no one way to reflect; and that reflective notes don’t need to capture the full details of an experience, but should focus on learning outcomes and future plans.

This work has been a joint effort by all four contributing organisations to provide clearer advice in this area and part of a wider commitment to drive an open and honest learning culture. Contributors will now explore what other guidance or information could be developed to provide even more practical support. This includes additional guidance and learning materials for medical students and educators as well as a range of case studies to help doctors apply the guidance.

This page was last updated on: 28.02.2024 at 17.27