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Organisations to collaborate on new reflective practice guidance for doctors

New guidance for doctors on reflective practice is to be produced jointly by the General Medical Council, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, the Conference of Postgraduate Medical Deans and the Medical Schools Council.

The four organisations will work together to develop the guidance, and it will be co-branded when it is published later this year.

Workshops to discuss reflective practice have already been held in London, Edinburgh and Cardiff, and a similar event is planned in Belfast.

"We know a lot of doctors recognise the importance of being reflective practitioners but are concerned about how their reflective notes might be used against them. The new guidance will address those concerns. Working in collaboration with colleagues from key medical education organisations will go a long way to ensuring we have guidance that will be a real and practical help to doctors."

Dr Colin Melville

Director of Education and Standards

A range of stakeholders across all four UK countries, including doctors in training, educators and individual medical royal colleges, will be involved in shaping the new guidance.

Dr Colin Melville, the General Medical Council’s Director of Education and Standards, said:

‘We know a lot of doctors recognise the importance of being reflective practitioners but are concerned about how their reflective notes might be used against them. The new guidance will address those concerns. Working in collaboration with colleagues from key medical education organisations will go a long way to ensuring we have guidance that will be a real and practical help to doctors.’

Professor Carrie MacEwen, Chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges said: 

‘The Academy recognises the need for guidance to help doctors to become reflective practitioners as a natural and positive process. This will aid improvement and drive patient safety in education and training as a whole. Therefore we are pleased to produce this work in conjunction with the Medical Schools Council, COPMeD and the GMC to provide clarity and vision.’ 

Professor Sheona MacLeod, Chair of the Conference of Postgraduate Medical Deans, said:

‘Reflecting on practice is a key professional skill which helps individuals, teams and organisations learn and improve patient care. The new guidance will help clarify how doctors can safely demonstrate their professional approach as reflective practitioners, focussing on the outcomes of reflective practice, rather than on specific details.’

Clare Owen, Assistant Director at the Medical Schools Council, said:

‘Being able to think productively about one’s own progress is a central aspect of learning. Medical schools hope this new guidance will give students the tools they need to reflect on their work, and will reassure them that reflection is a positive and safe way to support their learning, both at medical school and when they enter practice.’

The new guidance for doctors on reflective practice is expected to be published in the autumn.
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