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Reflective Practice

The GMC requires doctors to “reflect regularly on their standards of medical practice” and is a critical element in your revalidation journey.  You will also be encouraged to reflect for your appraisal, assessment of critical incidents, PDPs and educational portfolios.

It is important that reflective practice is a genuine useful exercise.  Each piece of reflective practice should aim to help you gain real insights and should not be a ‘tick box exercise’ that has to be done.  To help you there are many models available and you must choose what suits you best.

Below we have listed an 8 step process to help you start your reflective journey.

  1. Description – describe in detail what exactly happened?  What did you do?
  2. Emotions – What were you thinking/feeling at that point/
  3. Outcomes – What were the consequences for a) the patient; b) others; c) yourself
  4. Evaluations – What were you trying to achieve? What was good/bad about it?
  5. Analysis – What internal factors were influencing you?  What knowledge/values did or should have informed you;
  6. Beliefs – how did your actions match your beliefs/knowledge?
  7. Conclusions – how does this connect with previous experiences?  Could you have handled this better in a similar situation; how do you now feel about their experience?
  8. The Future – faced with that experience again, what would you do? Can you support yourself or others better as a consequence?