Divergence and Dissonance in Residents’ Reported and Actual Feedback to Faculty in a Military Context

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Trainees (e.g., residents) are an obvious and common source of feedback for faculty; however, gaps exist in our understanding of their experiences and practices of providing such feedback. To gain a deeper understanding, this study examined residents’ beliefs about what feedback is important to provide, the kinds of feedback they report giving, and the feedback they actually gave.Descriptive statistics were used to analyze residents’ perceptions and feedback behaviors (n = 42/96). Thematic analysis was used to analyze end-of-rotation faculty assessments from 2018 to 2019 (n = 559) to explore the actual written feedback residents provided to the faculty.The findings suggest that residents experience workload constraints (e.g., too many feedback requests), feel that their feedback is not valuable or relevant, and place conditions on when and what feedback is given (e.g., faculty agreeableness, prefer giving positively oriented feedback, and uncomfortable giving negative feedback). When comparing what feedback residents rated as important with the kinds of feedback they reported giving and actually gave, the findings also suggest that there were consistencies (e.g., clinical instruction and professionalism) and inconsistencies (e.g., evidence-based practice and medical knowledge) that may limit constructive feedback for faculty.Taken together, the findings suggest that trainee assessments of faculty may be insufficient as a primary source of feedback to support the improvement of faculty performance. Potential solutions are discussed.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalMilitary Medicine
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2022


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