Assessment of clinical feedback given to medical students via an electronic feedback system

Gabrielle Shaughness, Patrick E. Georgoff, Gurjit Sandhu, Lisa Leininger, Vahagn C. Nikolian, Rishindra Reddy, David T. Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background The feedback medical students receive during clinical rotations, traditionally verbal and not formally captured, plays a critical role in student development. This study evaluates written daily feedback given to students through a novel web-based feedback system. Methods A Minute Feedback System was used to collect feedback given to medical students during their surgery clerkship from May 2015-April 2016. Using qualitative content analysis, feedback comments were categorized as: encouraging, corrective, specific, and nonspecific. Effective feedback was a combination of specific and either corrective or encouraging feedback; ineffective feedback contained only nonspecific comments; mediocre feedback contained elements of both effective and ineffective comments. Results 3191 feedback requests were sent by medical students and 2029 faculty/resident feedback responses were received. The overall response rate was 62%. Nonspecific feedback comprised 80% of faculty, 83% of senior resident, and 78% of junior resident comments. Specific feedback was given by only 35% of faculty, 17% of senior residents, and 26% of junior residents. Faculty provided Effective feedback in only 16% of comments, senior residents 8%, and junior residents 17%. Mediocre feedback comprised 13% of faculty, 9% of senior resident, and 7% of junior resident comments. Ineffective feedback comprised 67% of all feedback: 60% of faculty, 72% of senior resident, and 68% of junior resident feedback. Conclusions The majority of resident and faculty feedback to medical students using an electronic, email-based application during their surgery clerkship was nonspecific and encouraging and therefore of limited effectiveness. This presents an opportunity for resident/faculty development and education regarding optimal feedback techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-179
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical feedback
  • Clinical rotation feedback
  • Feedback to medical students
  • Quality of feedback

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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