Implementing an Anonymous Closed-Loop Feedback Process and Associations With ACGME Annual Survey Scores in a Family Medicine Residency

Fam Med. 2021 Nov;53(10):878-881. doi: 10.22454/FamMed.2021.714773.


Background and objectives: The annual Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) survey evaluates numerous variables, including resident satisfaction with the training program. We postulated that an anonymous system allowing residents to regularly express and discuss concerns would result in higher ACGME survey scores in areas pertaining to program satisfaction.

Methods: One family medicine residency program implemented a process of quarterly anonymous closed-loop resident feedback and discussion in academic year 2012-2013. Data were tracked longitudinally from the 2011-2019 annual ACGME resident surveys, using academic year 2011-2012 as a baseline control.

Results: For the survey item "Satisfied that evaluations of program are confidential," years 2013-2014, 2014-2015, and 2018-2019 showed a significantly higher change from baseline. For "Satisfied that program uses evaluations to improve," year 2018-2019 had a significantly higher percentage change from baseline. For "Satisfied with process to deal with problems and concerns," year 2018-2019 showed significantly higher change. For "Residents can raise concerns without fear," years 2013-2014 and 2018-2019 saw significantly higher changes.

Conclusions: These results suggest that this feedback process is perceived by residents as both confidential and promoting a culture of safety in providing feedback. Smaller changes were seen in residents' belief that the program uses evaluations to improve, and in satisfaction with the process to deal with problems and concerns.

MeSH terms

  • Accreditation
  • Education, Medical, Graduate
  • Family Practice / education
  • Feedback
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*