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Should we grade reflective writing?
  1. Adam Young
  1. Faculty of Medicine, University of Queensland, Herston, QLD 4006, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Adam Young, Faculty of Medicine, University of Queensland, Herston, QLD 4006, Australia; adamyoung{at}doctors.org.uk

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Dr Launer provides significant insight into the challenges faced by doctors in his article ‘Managing the threat to reflective writing’.1 In particular, attention has been focused on the approaches to sustain reflective practice in postgraduate education.

As a junior doctor, I volunteered to become a reflective writing tutor for medical students in first year clinical training. Students were given constructive guidance for these assignments, including examples of the different models used in reflective practice; the Gibbs’ cycle (description, feelings, evaluation, analysis, conclusions and actions) was highlighted as an exemplar framework.2 My task was then to provide feedback to students on reflective writing pieces through the year and award an overall score. But can we—or should we—grade reflective writing?

The relative content of reflection, for example, if a piece of writing contains mostly descriptive or analytical elements, arguably can be assessed. With an ever-increasing emphasis on revalidation, …

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