Many evaluation instruments have been developed to provide feedback to physicians on their clinical teaching but written feedback alone is not always effective. We explored whether feedback effectiveness improved when teachers' self-assessment was added to written feedback based on student ratings. 37 physicians (10 residents, 27 attending physicians) from different specialties (Internal Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Pediatrics, Neurology, Dermatology, Ophthalmology, ENT, and Psychiatry) were invited to fill out a self-assessment questionnaire on their teaching skills. Students completed an almost identical questionnaire to evaluate the same teachers based on their experiences during clerkships. After receiving written feedback incorporating their self-assessment and the student ratings, the teachers indicated their perceptions of the self-assessment exercise and the written feedback in a questionnaire (five-point Likert scale items) and next, in more detail, in semi-structured interviews with a purposive sample of 12 of the participating teachers. 25 physicians participated (67%). The results showed that self-assessment and student feedback were both perceived as useful (3.7, SD 1.0) but the latter was considered more effective. The physicians we interviewed considered the combination of self-assessment with student ratings more effective than either self-assessment or written feedback alone. Notably, discrepancies between student ratings and self-assessment were deemed a strong incentive for change. We conclude that self-assessment can be a useful tool to stimulate improvement of clinical teaching when it is combined with written feedback based on student ratings. Future research among larger groups is needed to confirm our findings and examine whether these combined tools actually lead to improved teaching.