Residents As Teachers - Precepting Skills - Step 5: Give Guidance About Errors & Omissions


Step 5: Give Guidance About Errors & Omissions

While it is important to identify learners' strengths, it is also important to identify areas needing improvement. Providing feedback that may be perceived as "negative" can often be challenging, but it is essential to the learning process. While we discuss the concept of providing feedback in greater depth in another section of this website, it is important to remember to focus on specific behaviors that learners can change (e.g. reading about specific content areas, practicing certain aspects of a procedure, organizing presentations differently and explaining how, etc.).

Precepting Skills

It also can be helpful to place your guidance statements between two positive statements to create a "feedback sandwich." This approach often makes suggestions a bit more palatable to recipients. For example, one could say,

"You organized your presentation really well with the chief complaint and a detailed history of present illness. It seemed like you had some difficulty identifying which medication to use. It might be good for you to read up on this class of medications so they are more familiar to you. This should really help you since this is such a common health issue among the patients we see."