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MANUSCRIPT: Improving Participant Feedback to Continuing Medical Education Presenters in Internal Medicine: A Mixed Methods Study

Evaluation and feedback are uniquely different: evaluation is summative and involves judgment, whereas feedback is formative and specifically intended to improve effectiveness.7,8 It is understood that useful feedback is provided in a timely fashion, behavior-specific, and balanced with both positive and constructive elements.7 Behavior-specific feedback is important because, unlike vague or judgmental comments, it identifies tangible actions for learners to improve upon. Feedback that is balanced (e.g., containing both positive and constructive elements) is particularly useful for poor performers, because it makes the overall feedback more acceptable, thus allowing learners to reflect more comfortably on the constructive feedback component. Reflection on feedback is important, because it has been observed that reflection is the critical link between receiving and using assessment feedback.2 Unfortunately, the feedback provided to CME presenters often lacks mention of specific behaviors, thus providing presenters with no means for improvement.

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Brian S McGowan, PhD

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Brian is a research scientist and educational technologist. He helped transform Pfizer’s Medical Education Group and previously served in educational leadership roles at HealthAnswers, Inc.; Acumentis, LLC.; Cephalon; and Wyeth. He taught graduate medical education programs at Arcadia University for 10 years. Dr. McGowan recently authored the book "#socialQI: Simple Solutions for Improving Your Healthcare" and has been invited to speak internationally on the subject of information flow, technology, and learning in healthcare.

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