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Reflective writing as a learning tool for Phase II MBBS students in India

Ananya Mandal, Tania Sur Kundu, Suman Chattopadhyay.


Background: Reflection is essential in training physicians mainly because it helps them to participate in collaborative teams, respond in unique and compassionate manner to clinical cases and situations and behave professionally and with empathy.

Aims and Objectives: The objective of this study was to observe the reflective writing ability of the Phase II MBBS students of the institute after a structured training and to obtain student feedback about the experience.

Materials and Methods: This was a prospective, observational study conducted at the Department of Pharmacology, of a Medical college. A total of 102 students were included in an interactive lecture on reflection writing. Over 3 weeks they were shown three different videos (two of them doctor patient/family member interactions and one a teacher student interaction). The students were asked to reflect about what they saw in the videos. Their reflection was under three heads - “what happened, what was your reaction, and what can be done next.” Their reflection was analyzed using a scoring system (score 1 no refection to score 6 with in depth reflection) by a single observer. Their feedback was obtained using a 5-point Likert scale.

Results: Average scores of the students in the three reflection exercises were 2.85 ± 0.78, 2.98 ± 0.84, and 3.36 ± 0.57, respectively, showing improvement in reflection skills. Feedback from the students showed that most liked the experience and recommended for their peers.

Conclusions: We concluded that 2nd year MBBS students, when taught the structure of a reflective exercise may be able to reflect better on their day to day experiences.

Key words: Reflection; Medical Education; MBBS; Indian Medical Graduate; Attitude

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