Feedback Conversations

To participate in clinical teaching of FIU HWCOM students, you must have a clinical faculty appointment and undergo an initial orientation with the clerkship or course director, or their designee. The following information is designed to supplement and reinforce what you gain from orientation.

Giving feedback is an integral skill for medical educators. Characteristics of quality feedback include:

  • Frequent
  • Timely – don't wait too long!
  • Named – "I'm giving you feedback…"
  • Limited – in bite size chunks, just as we provide patient education
  • Requires a credible source and a culture of respect and support - It’s all about the relationship! Learners need to know you are looking out for their learning and well-being.
  • Based on direct observation
  • Uses questions, thus promoting self-reflection. Some great questions include:
    • "What did you do well?"
    • "What can you improve?"
    • "What’s your SMART plan for improvement?" SMART=Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-limited
  • Focuses on the process not the person – giving feedback about the process of learning or development of a skill creates a growth mindset whereas feedback about the person creates a fixed mindset in which growth does not occur. This is an example of feedback on the process: "You took in the feedback I gave you about avoiding medical jargon and used layperson’s language when explaining the patient’s diagnosis. Well done!" This is an example of feedback on the person, which is not helpful to the student: "You are such a smart student."


  • Free CME: FIU COM Online Teaching Modules on Giving Feedback for free CME.
  • Feedback Pitfalls: Feedback conversations are prone to common pitfalls due to our own behaviors and to the behaviors of feedback recipients. This AM Last Page presents ways to prevent potential unintended negative consequences during feedback conversations.
  • Efficiency Tip: a Plus/Delta Card can help you to be more efficient. When you have feedback conversations, ask the learner to write down their takeaways from the conversation. You can also use a modified version such as asking the learner to email you their feedback reflections after the conversation; you can then save and edit those comments as the basis for your assessment comments.