Giving Effective Feedback

Tips for Giving Feedback Effectively (pdf)


Research shows

  • Effective feedback skills can be taught
  • Setting the stage for giving feedback is important to learner receptivity
  • Multisource feedback positively influences residents' learning
  • Poorly given feedback can damage learner receptivity 
  • Trainee perceptions of faculty effectiveness at giving feedback is associated with:
    • Frequently attempting to detect and discuss emotional responses of learners
    • Proficiency in handling conflict
    • Frequently asking learners what they desire from the teaching interaction
    • Having written down or reviewed professional goals in the prior year
    • Frequently working with learners to establish mutually agreed upon goals, objectives, and ground rules
    • Frequently letting learners figure things out themselves, even if they struggle
  • Receptivity to feedback depends on context and environment

Myths about Giving Feedback

  • The ability to give effective feedback depends on faculty personality
  • Shouting can be a form of effective feedback
  • Feedback is the sole responsibility of the faculty
  • Residents are not able to give feedback effectively to their peers
  • Residents and fellows can't give effective feedback to faculty

Recommended Reading


Contemporary Challenges to Giving Effective Feedback: Bing-You, RE, Trowbridge, RL. Why medical educators are failing at feedback. JAMA 2009; 302(12):1330-31.

The PEARLS Approach to Diagnosing Learner Readiness for and Sharing Feedback. Detailed in Milan et al. A model for giving educational feedback based on clinical communication skill strategies: beyond the ‘feedback sandwich" Teaching and Learning in Medicine 2006.18(10): 42-47.