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Building a feedback culture
Professor Christopher Watling
MD, MMEd, PhD, FRCP(C) Western University, Canada
Increasingly, we are recognizing the influence of culture on how educational strategies play out. Feedback is a prime example. Learners continue to tell us that the quality and quantity of feedback they receive is underwhelming. Most of our efforts to enhance feedback in medical education have targeted individuals, teaching them to be better givers or users of feedback. This approach, however, has often failed to yield meaningful improvements. Looking at culture lets us see things we might not have otherwise seen, and offers new options for really improving the quality of the education we provide. In this keynote, I will offer examples of “feedback cultures”, will examine the foundations that sustain them, and will consider the opportunities for nurturing feedback cultures within health professions education.
Dr. Watling is a professor in the Departments of Oncology, Clinical Neurological Sciences, and Family Medicine at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at Western University in London, Canada. From 2010-2019, he served as Western’s Associate Dean for Postgraduate Medical Education. Since 2020, he has been the Director of Schulich’s Centre for Education Research and Innovation, and a Faculty Scholar at Western University. He has a Masters in Medical Education from the University of Dundee and a PhD in Health Professions Education from Maastricht University. His research, widely published in the medical education literature, explores how and why feedback influences learning, and how medicine’s professional culture shapes its educational practices.
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