Twelve tips for giving feedback effectively in the clinical environment

Med Teach. 2012;34(10):787-91. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2012.684916. Epub 2012 Jun 25.


Background: Feedback is an essential element of the educational process for clinical trainees. Performance-based feedback enables good habits to be reinforced and faulty ones to be corrected. Despite its importance, most trainees feel that they do not receive adequate feedback and if they do, the process is not effective.

Aims and methods: The authors reviewed the literature on feedback and present the following 12 tips for clinical teachers to provide effective feedback to undergraduate and graduate medical trainees. In most of the tips, the focus is the individual teacher in clinical settings, although some of the suggestions are best adopted at the institutional level.

Results: Clinical educators will find the tips practical and easy to implement in their day-to-day interactions with learners. The techniques can be applied in settings whether the time for feedback is 5 minutes or 30 minutes.

Conclusions: Clinical teachers can improve their skills for giving feedback to learners by using the straightforward and practical tools described in the subsequent sections. Institutions should emphasise the importance of feedback to their clinical educators, provide staff development and implement a mechanism by which the quantity and quality of feedback is monitored.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Clerkship*
  • Feedback, Psychological*
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Persuasive Communication*