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Insight Tools

Multi-Source Feedback(MSF) collects subjective views of trainees from a specified range of colleagues (consultants, specialty doctors, senior nurses and other health care providers.) The benefit of the MSF lies in the conversation between trainer and trainee to review and discuss the overview of the collated comments.

The Multi-Source Feedback (previously known as Mini PAT) tool is used to provide a 360 degree range of feedback across a spectrum of professional domains which are closely related to the GMC duties of a good doctor. Trainees fill in their self-rating form and they ask a range of people for their ratings too, anonymously. When the data is collated electronically the Educational Supervisor will meet with the trainee to discuss the overview of the data.

The following two clips show two trainees, (played by the same actor) discussing their feedback with their Educational Supervisor.

In both clips the ES approaches the conversation in a similar way, explaining what she would like to discuss and then looking first at the strengths of the trainee and where these correlate to the strengths perceived by the other raters, before moving on to any developmental areas and finally compiling an action plan for further development.



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In the first clip the trainee is an excellent doctor who has received high quality ratings across the board. The conversation focuses on developing her skills further whilst balancing her working commitments. She is a diligent and conscientious worker who regularly stays late and is clearly devoted to her job. After a question asking the trainee to expand on her view of her strengths the ES asks the trainee what she would like to develop. The action plan looks at developing a sense of perspective about career options, study plans and work-life balance. The consultant is keen to remind the trainee not to burn out at this stage and asks her to reflect upon her plans and priorities. The MLCF (Medical leadership Competence Framework1) is discussed and the trainee agrees to look at the framework with a view to evidencing her emerging clinical leadership skills.

This conversation takes seven minutes


The second trainee is also good but there is an issue raised regarding her ability to deal with stress. Again the ES looks at the strengths and area of concordance before raising the one comment which she wishes to discuss in more depth. The consultant tries to focus the trainee on the positive points first, ensuring that she acknowledges the things that she is good at. She then moves on to look at where and why the comment regarding stress has come about. By allowing the trainee room to consider the origin of the comment, the ES enables her to look back at her working behaviour more critically. The Consultant focuses the trainee away from who made the comment to the situational aspects of her work, which results in the trainee offloading her feelings about sometimes doing the work of six people.

In articulating suggested actions, the supervisor deals with the trainee’s concern about resulting CBDs being detrimental to her ISCP portfolio by explaining the developmental nature of the tools. She clarifies to the trainee that small issues such as feeling the pressure of work are best dealt with early on in her career. She thus incentivises the trainee to return to discuss the issue she had encountered the previous week, and invites her to raise any future issues prospectively to avoid escalating stress.

CBDs can therefore be used as a follow-up tool to MSF discussions as well as in connection with CEXs and also with DOPS and PBAs.

This more complex conversation takes less than nine minutes.