Poster Abstract

Reflective Practice for International Medical Graduates – Challenges and Triumphs (P088)

Sandra Taylor (College of Physicians & Surgeons of Nova Scotia); Mary-Lynn Watson (Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University); Gwen MacPherson (College of Physicians & Surgeons of Nova Scotia)


A description of best practices in facilitating reflective practice. Strategies address the challenges that emerge when the teaching and learning approach of the mentor and the learner are at odds.


The overall goal of one mentoring program for international medical graduates (IMGs) in rural Canadian communities is to facilitate reflective practice and lifelong learning. However, this poses a challenge when physicians have been educated in an environment that supports didactic learning. Feedback that is provided as formative can be perceived as critical rather than instructive. This becomes a barrier for continuing professional learning.

While scholars have identified the mentorship of physicians as an optimal approach for teaching and learning reflective practice, less has been written about best practices to address the challenges encountered when the teaching and learning approaches of the mentor and the mentored physician are at odds.

This presentation focuses on an initiative to develop a framework for collaborative reflective practice. The strategies that facilitated the acquisition of competencies for reflective practice are highlighted.

Methods and Results

A constructive learning environment was created where formative feedback was put into practice. This was accomplished through integrating the theory of the academic continuing professional development program with the resources of the mentorship program, along with the expertise of the mentors in the rural practice setting and the motivation of IMG learners.

Applications and Future Directions.

These strategies promote critical thinking skills, problem solving, and sound clinical judgment through reflection in practice and reflection on practice. A five year retrospective view of this educational innovation, informed by quantitative and qualitative data, points to challenging elements of reflective practice that have been addressed in the mentorship. On-going evaluation informs program planning.


Reflective practice, Mentorship, IMG