A scoping review of self-monitoring in graduate medical education

William Rainey Johnson*, Steven J. Durning, Rhonda J. Allard, Adam M. Barelski, Anthony R. Artino

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Physicians and physicians-in-training have repeatedly demonstrated poor accuracy of global self-assessments, which are assessments removed from the context of a specific task, regardless of any intervention. Self-monitoring, an in-the-moment self-awareness of one's performance, offers a promising alternative to global self-assessment. The purpose of this scoping review is to better understand the state of self-monitoring in graduate medical education. Methods: We performed a scoping review following Arksey and O'Malley's six steps: identifying a research question, identifying relevant studies, selecting included studies, charting the data, collating and summarising the results and consulting experts. Our search queried Ovid Medline, Web of Science, PsychINFO, Eric and EMBASE databases from 1 January 1999 to 12 October 2022. Results: The literature search yielded 5363 unique articles. The authors identified 77 articles for inclusion. The search process helped create a framework to identify self-monitoring based on time and context dependence. More than 20 different terms were used to describe self-monitoring, and only 13 studies (17%) provided a definition for the equivalent term. Most research focused on post-performance self-judgements of a procedural skill (n = 31, 42%). Regardless of task, studies focused on self-judgement (n = 66, 86%) and measured the accuracy or impact on performance of self-monitoring (n = 41, 71%). Most self-monitoring was conducted post-task (n = 65, 84%). Conclusion: Self-monitoring is a time- and context-dependent phenomenon that seems promising as a research focus to improve clinical performance of trainees in graduate medical education and beyond. The landscape of current literature on self-monitoring is sparse and heterogeneous, suffering from a lack of theoretical underpinning, inconsistent terminology and insufficiently clear definitions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)795-806
Number of pages12
JournalMedical Education
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2023
Externally publishedYes


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