Providing effective feedback is a core teaching competency at the Perelman School of Medicine  and one of the workshop topics most often requested by faculty. Everyone agrees it is important, but for most people, it does not come easily or naturally. Here you will find some foundational tips and resources.

Step 1: Establish Rapport

It’s tempting to jump right into feedback with learners, but it’s more effective to establish rapport first. When you first start working with a learner, take a few minutes to introduce yourself and ask about a learner's interests and prior experiences. Take advantage of travel time between patients or classes to have “hallway chats.” Use these moments to promote a trusting teacher-learner relationship. Avoid attempting to provide feedback before establishing rapport. It only takes a few minutes but makes a big difference.


Step 2: Establish Goals

Ask your learners about their goals and review your own goals for them. Together, connect these specific and achievable goals to the rotation/course, a particular day, or an identified patient encounter.


Step 3: Set the Time

While generally feedback should be timely to your observations, consider delaying immediate feedback if there has been an error, emotions are running high, or you or the learner are fatigued.


Step 4: Signpost

It is very common for learners to think they have not been offered feedback when they really have. They need a verbal cue. Use the “F” word: “I want to give you some feedback.”


Step 5: Apply a Model

ADAPT (from Johnston S, Pauwels J and colleagues; U WA.) is a recommended feedback model, one that enables you to plan for and structure your feedback, and therefore increase its probable efficacy. The ADAPT models is as follows:


Be an active listener and reflect back.
  • “How do you think that went?”
  • “What went well?”
  • “What didn’t go as well as you had hoped?”
  • “What will you do differently next time?”
  • “What do you want feedback about?”


Discuss the learner’s self-assessment
  • Discuss your observations
  • Be specific
  • Be positive and constructive
  • Be descriptive, not evaluative
  • Keep it about the performance, not the person
  • Prioritize


Be mindful of how much talking you are doing. The trainee should be self-assessing during your meeting. Ask:
  • “What are your thoughts about that?”
  • “Was there anything I discussed that doesn’t make sense to you?”
  • “Anything you are unclear about?”
  • “What do you want to focus on?”

Plan Together

Create action plan together.
  • How can the learner improve?
  • What are your tips/recommendations that will facilitate this improvement?