Kristine Gibson,,Kalamazoo,MI; Bonny Dickinson,WMU Stryker School of Medicine,,; Kristi VanDerKolk,WMU Stryker School of Medicine,,; Marisha Agana,WMU Stryker School of Medicine,,; Lisa Graves,WMU Stryker School of Medicine,,


Emerging literature suggests that reflection improves both learning and performance. While there are a number of pedagogical approaches to teach and implement reflection, we developed a reflective writing assignment that: (1) facilitates transfer of biomedical science knowledge to the clerkship phase of the students’ education, and (2) uses the Kolb experiential learning cycle to promote metacognition.  Prior to beginning the family medicine and pediatrics rotation block, we asked students to reflect on how biomedical science knowledge is relevant to clinical medicine.   As students prepared to switch clerkships, they participated in a case-based basic science review after which they were tasked to identify a patient in their next rotation with whom to explore the link between biomedical science knowledge and clinical medicine. Through this process, students engaged in a concrete experience (e.g., a clinical encounter), reflected on the experience by viewing the patient through a basic science lens, reconceptualized the experience based upon their reflection, and reflected upon how experiential and reflective learning might influence their future clinical practice.

  1. Describe the process of teaching reflection.
  2. Explain the process of experiential learning using the Kolb experiential learning cycle.
  3. Describe our intervention.
  4. Participate in reflective writing exercise.
  5. Review student examples.
  6. Gather feedback from participants.

Methods and Content:
  1. Presenter introductions (3 minutes).
  2. Brief overview of reflective writing and students benefits (5 minutes).
  3. Brief overview of experiential learning and the Kolb learning cycle (10 minutes).
  4. Overview of reflective writing assignment and basic science integration session at our institution (10 minutes).
  5. Small group activity #1: participants work in small groups to reflect on how students in their third year clerkship might respond to the following question: How is biomedical science knowledge relevant to clinical medicine? (10 minutes).
  6. Group reporting and Discussion (20 minutes).
  7. Examples of actual student responses to the question (5 minutes).
  8. Small group activity #2: participants work in small groups, read  clinical vignette and apply the “reflective observation” step of the Kolb learning cycle to the vignette (15 minutes).
  9. Group reporting (20 minutes).
  10. Examples of actual student responses (10 minutes).
  11. Participant comments, feedback, and suggestions (10 minutes).