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What’s the headline on your mind right now? How reflection guides simulation-based faculty development in a master class
  1. Michaela Kolbe1,
  2. Jenny W Rudolph2
  1. 1 Simulation Center, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  2. 2 Harvard Medical School, Center for Medical Simulation, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Michaela Kolbe, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich 8091, Switzerland; mkolbe{at}


Introduction The demand for highly skilled simulation-based healthcare educators (SBEs) is growing. SBEs charged with developing other SBEs need to be able to model and conduct high-quality feedback conversations and ‘debrief the debriefing’. Direct, non-threatening feedback is one of the strongest predictors of improved performance in health professions education. However, it is a difficult skill to develop. Developing SBEs who can coach and support other SBEs is an important part of the faculty development pipeline. Yet we know little about how they get better at skilled feedback and the ability to reflect on it. There is scant evidence about their thoughts, feelings and dilemmas about this advanced learning process. To address this gap, we examined advanced SBE’s subjective experience as they grappled with challenges in a 4-day advanced SBE course. Their reflections will help target faculty development efforts.

Methods Using a repeated, identical free-writing task, we asked “What is the headline for what is on your mind right now?”

Results A five-theme mosaic of self-guiding reflections emerged: (1) metacognitions about one’s learning process, (2) evaluations of sessions or tools, (3) notes to self, (4) anticipations of applying the new skills in the future, and (5) tolerating the tension between pleasant and unpleasant emotions.

Conclusions The results extend simulation-based education science by advocating the motivational role of noting inconsistencies between one’s intention and impact and the central role of self-regulation, emotion, and experiencing feedback and debriefing from multiple perspectives for improving advanced skills of SBEs. Recommendations for faculty development are discussed.

  • feedback
  • debriefing
  • faculty development
  • debriefing the debriefer
  • experience sampling method

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  • Contributors Both authors were involved in the planning of this study. MK collected the data and performed the main data analysis with considerable input from JWR. Both authors wrote the manuscript.

  • Funding None declared.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval The study was reviewed and approved by the Partners Healthcare Human Research Ethics Committee (Boston, MA).

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

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