ABSTRACT: A Four-Week Reflective Writing Program in the Psychiatry Clerkship: Testing Effects on Reflective Capacity
Reflective capacity is the ability to review and reconstruct the importance, emotional impact, and outcomes of an experience to give it added meaning and context. In medicine, greater reflective capacity is associated with greater empathy and diagnostic accuracy. This project implemented a four-week reflective writing curriculum for third-year medical students during their psychiatric clerkship.
A single class of medical students participated in a pilot reflective writing program during their four-week Psychiatry Care Block. Students were provided with weekly writing prompts, and the reflective capacity of their writing assignments was assessed using the REFLECT rubric.
Medical students who participated in the reflective writing course demonstrated a significant increase in Wald Rubric reflective writing scores across the four-week clerkship.
These results suggest a short, four-week reflective writing curriculum can enhance reflective capacity in a class of third-year medical students.