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New guidance for doctors on reflection


New guidance, The reflective practitioner: Guidance for doctors and medical students, has today been published by the General Medical Council.

The guidance was developed jointly with the Medical Schools Council, Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, and the Conference Of Postgraduate Medical Deans. 

It was made following calls from doctors, responsible officers and appraisers, for clearer information on what is meant by reflection, and how those in training and engaging in revalidation should reflect as part of their practice.

The guidance can be found on the General Medical Council website. It is planned that a version aimed specifically at medical students will be developed by the Medical Schools Council and General Medical Council.

How will the guidance help doctors?

The guidance outlines the importance of reflection for personal development and learning. It highlights how reflection can help doctors and medical students to maintain and improve their professional practice, and drive improvements in patient safety.

It emphasises ten key elements of being a reflective practitioner, including how reflection is personal; that there is no one way to reflect; and that reflective notes don’t need to capture the full details of an experience, but should focus on learning outcomes and future plans.

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