Competency-based medical education, such as General Practitioners’ specialty training, depends almost entirely on residents’ ability to learn from experiences. Trainees often perceive reflection as vague and difficult to do, which can lead to frustration. There is a lack of impact of reflection programs in medical curricula. In the jungle of often-contradictory theories and recommendations in literature, some medical curricula oversimplify reflection. But a one-size-fits-all method, in which residents are expected to follow a check-list approach to reflection, is no solution.
Rather than formulating ‘good reflection’ from theory and looking for it in behavior, our approach starts with what GP residents actually do when asked to reflect. We will describe how residents at two Dutch GP training institutes reflect in three different settings: individually, in dialogue with their residency supervisor, and in peer groups at the training institute.
Our ultimate goal is to make reflection tangible and valuable for residents, so that they are motivated to continue their journey as reflective practitioners into their professional life.
With this project, we believe that we can contribute to the current paradigm shift in medical education: away from a positivistic, instrumental approach to reflection research and education, towards a focus on what works in practice.