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Perceptions of the feedback process: a case study of veterinary residents and supervisors
  1. Karen Lisette Perry1,
  2. Molly Frendo Londgren2 and
  3. Claire Vinten3
  1. 1Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, East Lansing, Michigan, USA
  2. 2Office of Academic Achievement, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
  3. 3Clinical Services Division, Royal Veterinary College, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
  1. Correspondence to Dr Karen Lisette Perry, Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, East Lansing, MI 48824-1314, USA; kperry{at}


Background Appraisal of resident clinical performance is critical during training. The most common method for this is feedback to residents based on impressions of supervising clinicians. How effective these practices are for veterinary residents remains unknown. This study focused on establishing perceptions of veterinary residents and supervisors regarding the feedback process.

Methods A qualitative case study format was chosen to investigate the perceptions and experiences within a well-developed residency programme. The study cohort consisted of veterinary residents and supervisors from the same specialties. Qualitative data were collected through individual semistructured interviews continuing iteratively until theoretical saturation was reached (14 in total).

Results Mismatches in resident and supervisor perceptions were evident regarding positive feedback delivery and the importance of dialogue. The nature of the resident/supervisor relationship and the efficacy of feedback were closely interlinked. The development of a feedback-friendly culture would be beneficial. Residents perceived that feedback on teaching was lacking. Milestones were perceived to be lacking.

Conclusion The results highlight a need for change away from the ‘no news is good news’ culture. Development of training workshops, formation of closer relationships between supervisors and residents, and a transition to competency-based education may be necessary.

  • resident
  • veterinary
  • supervisor
  • feedback
  • perception
  • thematic analysis
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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval The project was granted ethical approval by the Social Science/Behavioral/Educational Institutional Review Board (SIRB) at MSU, Study ID: STUDY00001941.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information. Individual participant data that underlie the results have been reported in this article after deidentification.

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