Guidance on reflective practice for medical students

NEW guidance to support medical students in developing skills as reflective practitioners has been published by GMC and the Medical Schools Council (MSC).

The reflective practitioner – a guide for medical students is intended to help students find a style of reflection that suits them, and to make reflective practice a regular part of their routine.

Reflective practice allows doctors and other healthcare professionals to assess their experiences and to demonstrate insight to aid their learning and identify opportunities to improve.

The guide includes practical tips on how to anonymise reflective notes, such as removing gender pronouns, job titles and specific locations, as well as examples of how these can be applied while studying and working.

Clare Owen, assistant director at MSC, said: "Medical students learn that education is a continuum, not just through further training but through learning that is self-directed and drawn from everything they do in practice.

"Being a doctor means having the ability to reflect on practice and the decisions made each day. This guidance will be an invaluable tool for medical schools as they train students in this key skill."

Dr John Holden, Head of Medical Division at MDDUS, also commented: "We welcome this new guidance from the GMC. Reflective practice is really important for professional learning and development and this specific guidance for medical students will help them understand the principles and importance of reflective practice as they prepare to become 'the doctors of tomorrow'."

The new guidance is a practical accompaniment to The reflective practitioner - guidance for doctors and medical students which the GMC and MSC co-produced with other education bodies.