Find time to slow down and think. Paul Stephenson and David Brigden believe it vital to reflect on learning
Although this quotation may seem unnecessarily harsh, reflection is undoubtedly fundamental to clinical practice. Capacity for reflection is cited as a key attribute for doctors by healthcare regulators throughout the world.12 The need for UK medical students to be aware of reflective practice stems from the General Medical Council (GMC) recommendations, set out in Tomorrow's Doctors, that students should be able to reflect on practice and be self critical.3
The GMC also states that a medical school must make room within its curriculum to allow students time for reflection and personal growth. This is the case at the University of Liverpool, where students are encouraged to reflect on their clinical performance before regular feedback meetings.
So the GMC expects medical graduates to become reflective practitioners. But what exactly does this mean and how can we develop our capacity for reflection?
Reflection was first proposed as an essential learning tool in