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Publication Detail
Medical student perceptions of reflective practice in the undergraduate curriculum [version 1; peer review: awaiting peer review]
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Gishen F, Chakrabarti R
  • Publisher:
    F1000 Research Ltd
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    © 2022 Gishen F and Chakrabarti R. This is an open access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
INTRODUCTION: Reflective practice (RP) forms a core component of medical professionalism but, despite its benefits, it remains largely undervalued among medical students. The aim of this study was to explore medical students’ attitudes and barriers to engagement with RP in the undergraduate programme at a UK based medical school. METHODS: This was a qualitative study based on the methodology of phenomenology. All penultimate year medical students at University College London Medical School (n=361) were approached for this study and altogether thirteen participants were recruited, with data collected through two focus group discussions. Thematic analysis was used to generate the coding framework. RESULTS: Five key themes emerged around student attitudes to RP, which were grouped into three domains: ‘value of RP’, ‘barriers to engagement’, and ‘strategies for enabling RP’. ‘Value of RP’ centred on the themes of humanising medicine and developing empathy, developing professionalism and RP as a tool for sense-making. ‘Barriers to engagement’ centred on the purpose and tokenism of RP and in the third domain, ‘strategies for enabling RP’, the theme of student agency in RP emerged strongly. CONCLUSION: Overall, the value of RP was not fully appreciated until students began their clinical placements. Potential strategies identified by participants for optimising engagement included student co-design and positioning RP within a broader pastoral role early in the undergraduate curriculum.
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