Soliciting Feedback from Learners

We expect a lot of our leaners when they come to the ED—things like arriving with their goals for the shift in mind, having a positive attitude, being inquisitive and curious, and seeking to always improve. Faculty often model lifelong learning behaviors and intellectual curiosity, but how often do we apply those values to our own teaching skills? 
 
One way we can do this is to let the learners know what we’d like to do better, experiment with, or get feedback on, and then ask for feedback halfway through and at the end of the shift. This creates a culture of feedback and models effective ways to solicit it. Need ideas? Here are some suggestions:

"I’d like to do more bedside teaching today, so I’m going to try a new teaching tool and I want your feedback on how well it works.”

“I would really like for you to make your own plans for the patients you see, so if you notice me telling you what I want first, please stop me so I can get better at that.”

“It’s important that you have ownership of your patients, so I’m going to try to involve you when new issues arise. If you feel like I’m overstepping, I’d like you to let me know so we can find a solution that works for everyone.”   

“I am working on not interrupting when we see patients together. Do you think that’s something you could keep an eye out for and give me feedback on?” 

Despite all of the feedback that trainees get, they often receive little instruction in giving feedback of their own. Expect that their feedback may feel a little rough and give them guidance in providing better feedback if you can. 
 
When we demonstrate that we are actively working to improve our teaching skills, we show our learners how important their education is to us as clinical educators. We also set the expectation that feedback is frequent, open, multidirectional, and culturally valued in our EDs.