How to Write a Reflection

The ‘Reflective Practitioner’

Reflection should be part of a doctor’s everyday practice. Reflective practice is ‘the process whereby an individual thinks analytically about anything relating to their professional practice with the intention of gaining insight and using the lessons learned to maintain good practice or make improvements”

The Academy of Royal Colleges have produced guidelines for reflection –

In your appraisal portfolio, you are required to write a reflection on your activity, your MSF, your CPD and your compliments and complaints.

The easy way to start is to write a description of the activity, and then –

  • Say why you did it.
  • Say what the outcome was.
  • Say what you thought about the project.
  • Say what you are going to do next – and maybe put that in your PDP.

You must reflect on your CPD activity, so write down in this CPD section – 

  • Why you chose the courses that you went on
  • If they were good quality education
  • If you learned what you wanted to
  • What you are going to do with that new knowledge
  • If you are going to go on more courses based on the new knowledge from this course.

Put any new developments from the learning in your new PDP, but descibe it properly.

Writing reflections on feedback is more difficult – see the MSF part of this website. If you need a formal structure to work from, then there are the 5 steps to reflecting on feedback – 

  • What do patients/colleagues see as your strengths?
  • What characteristics are viewed as less positive?
  • How do you compare to other doctors you know?
  • Do you see yourself as the others have seen you?
  • What changes are you going to make in response to this feedback? Use it for some PDP

The answer to how to write reflection is really to just think about the subject, and write about it – that is reflection.

Again, reflection on incidents can follow the above guidance. An example is at –