Reflective Practice is a learned skill that allows us to explore our personal context in order to identify our assumptions and biases, and affords us a greater understanding about the way we think. Personal context is described as “the interwoven fabric of one’s unique and diverse life experiences” and shapes the lens through which we see the world around us.
Understanding how we think and the sources of our individual way of thinking allows us to be more mindful of the way we communicate with others and make decisions. Having this self-awareness improves patient care, regardless of our profession, specialty, or environment. Developing the “habit of thought” that is Reflective Practice is a lifelong endeavor and can have dramatic positive impact on both our professional and personal lives. This website is designed to help each of us on this journey.
Our goal in creating this website is to leverage the ability of a diverse community of educators and learners to best identify and share high-quality reflective practice stimuli and to create and share reflective practice curricula. In addition, the site offers faculty development tips for those teaching reflective practice. Health care educators may apply for a free faculty account from the homepage. Once approved, faculty account holders can contribute resources, review others’ curricula, copy and then edit copies of others’ shared curricula with automated attribution for the original author, and create original curricula. The aforementioned resources can be easily embedded into any lesson, and lessons are automatically collated into an individualized link, created for each program on the site.
This course was originally created at the Uniformed Services University and has been in existence for nearly 40 years, although has undergone changes throughout, and is now not just for the School of Medicine but is interprofessionally integrated with the Graduate School of Nursing. If you are at an academic institution or part of undergraduate or graduate education (medical or otherwise) and would like to discuss how this has worked, please contact the current Reflective Practice co-directors at USU – COL Nathan Keller firstname.lastname@example.org and Lt Col Jeanmarie Rey email@example.com.
Goal of the Curriculum
To help students develop the skill of self-reflection in order to improve the care they deliver to patients.
Objectives of the Curriculum
Reflective Practice 101 (RP 101) – “Contextual Thinking”
By the end of RP 101, through written expression and small group discussion, learners will demonstrate the ability to:
(1) identify their reactions to common and challenging situations in healthcare
(2) recognize that one’s reactions are neither right nor wrong; they simply are.
(3) recognize that one’s reactions (and perspective) stem from one’s personal context- the interwoven fabric of one’s unique and diverse life experiences
(4) critically examine their personal context in order to identify the sources of their reactions, assumptions, and biases
(5) consider how these assumptions and biases may both positively and negatively impact their clinical reasoning, decision-making, and communication with patients.
(6) develop realistic plans in order to mitigate the negative and enhance the positive implications of their reactions.
Reflective Practice 201 (RP 201) – “Thinking on Action”
By the end of RP 201, learners will demonstrate (through creative expression and small group discussion) the ability to:
(1) reflect on experiences they have had in the provider role that were particularly challenging and/or from which they gained important insight
(2) consider the impact their personal context had on their communication with patients and colleagues, clinical reasoning, and decision-making
(3) develop plans to enhance the positive and mitigate the negative impact of their contextual reactions and actions.
Reflective Practice 301 (RP 301) – Metacognition – “Thinking in Action”
By the end of the elective entitled “Metacognition”, learners (through assigned reading, self-study, written reflections, creative works, and near-peer small group facilitation) will learn and practice the principles of self-reflection and mindfulness and take steps toward implementing them in their daily practice.
Reflective Practice 401 (RP 401)
Goal of the Curriculum:
To develop and practice the skill of self-awareness in order to improve the care delivered to patients.
Objectives of the Curriculum:
By the end of the Reflective Practice Curriculum, Clinicians and/or Residents, through interactive, small group discussion will demonstrate:
1. The ability to identify their reactions to common and challenging situations in their practice.
2. An understanding for the meaning of personal context and how their own personal context (and by extension, that of others) shapes one’s perspective.
3. The ability to identify their assumptions and biases and the implications of these assumptions and biases for patient care.
4. The ability to reflect on their own patient encounters and to analyze their reactions and actions in these situations in order to improve the care they deliver in the future.
5. The ability to read and analyze written, audio, and video material as a stimulus for reflection.
6. An understanding for how to create Thinking on Action groups at their next duty station.