What makes giving feedback challenging? A survey of the Association Of Professors Of Dermatology (APD)

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Feedback is an important aspect of resident education, so understanding the challenges that attendings face in giving feedback is important. To determine dermatology attendings’ different perspectives on providing feedback to trainees and what barriers may exist in this process, an online survey study was emailed to members of the Association of Professors of Dermatology (APD) via its listserv; response was voluntary. Participants were dermatologists who are members of the Association of Professors of Dermatology. The main outcome measures were responses to survey questions that indicated comfort with feedback, perceived importance of feedback, and barriers to providing feedback. Of the 68 total survey respondents, 43(63%) were female and 25(37%) male. A majority of the attendings agreed that feedback has a positive influence on residents and improves patient outcomes. Many respondents reported giving regular feedback but a majority did not feel comfortable doing so with all residents in the program. Barriers to providing feedback included sensitivity on the part of the residents, lack of time, and fear of retaliation. When asked about ways to increase comfort, 12(17.6%) dermatology faculty noted that nothing would improve their ability to provide feedback while 28(41.2%) demonstrated interest in specialized training sessions. These results suggest that a majority of dermatology faculty face challenges in providing feedback to all of their trainees. Many would attend specialized trainings and have scheduled feedback sessions as part of the residency training to make both residents and attendings more comfortable with the whole process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-294
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Dermatological Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • Academic medicine
  • Feedback
  • Resident training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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