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Perspect Med Educ. 2017 Dec 18. doi: 10.1007/s40037-017-0393-6. [Epub ahead of print]

Using parent feedback: A qualitative study of residents' and physician-educators' perspectives.

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Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.



Patients and family members can contribute to resident assessment in competency-based medical education. However, few studies have examined the use of patient/family member feedback generated from questionnaire-based assessments. To implement appropriate assessment strategies and optimize feedback use, we need to understand how residents and physician-educators would use feedback from these stakeholders. This study aimed to understand how paediatric residents and physician-educators would use parent feedback generated from questionnaire-based assessments.


This study was conducted at a paediatric academic health science centre. We held dyadic interviews with six residents and six physician-educators. A three-step approach was used to analyze the data: data reduction, data display, and conclusions/verifications. We developed an initial coding scheme, conducted an in-depth review of the data and coded it, finalized our coding scheme, and identified categories.


Participants described that they would use parent feedback to: (a) provide additional direct observations of residents' performances, (b) teach and coach residents, (c) assess residents' overall performance and progression, and (d) encourage resident self-assessment and behaviour change.


Parents directly observe residents as they interact with them and their children and, therefore, can provide feedback on residents' performances. Residency programs should include parent feedback and promote and facilitate its use by residents and physician-educators.


This study provides an initial understanding of how paediatric residents and physician-educators would use parent feedback if they were to receive it. This information, combined with future research, can inform the development and implementation of parent feedback strategies in competency-based medical education.


Feedback; Medical education; Parents; Qualitative research

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