A reflective practitioner is one of the desired outcomes of medical education. This paper describes the introduction of a reflective assignment in the first year of a medical curriculum. Students completed written reflective assignments for which individual and group feedback was provided. Tutors reflected on their roles throughout the development and implementation of this new assignment. The majority of students completed the assignments and while some students became highly involved in the task others worked at a surface level. Tutors found the process time consuming and less enjoyable than working directly with students who need to be supported in the development of skills necessary for reflective practice.