Many of the same concepts hold true for written and verbal feedback. These include:
- Feedback based on on first-hand observations whenever possible
- Focusing on behaviors that can be changed
- Being specific when describing behaviors
Although providing written feedback may take longer than verbal feedback, it is just as important to provide useful, descriptive information in your comments.
For example, consider the written comment,
“Susan did an excellent job on our service.”
The student is not given information about WHAT she did well or what she can improve. This comment also yields little information upon which to base an assessment. However, consider this comment:
“Susan demonstrated an excellent ability to develop rapport with her patients. She listened to their concerns and demonstrated an ability to obtain a focused history. She seemed a bit less comfortable asking about sexual and drug histories so she might want to work on this aspect of her history taking. Her presentations were well organized and reflected a clear thought process. Susan was among the better students who have rotated onto our service this year.”
This example gives Susan and her preceptor/teacher a clearer idea about her strengths and areas to improve.