De-fuzzification of reflection in the education of health professionals


  • Edvin Schei Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
  • Abraham Fuks Faulty of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal
  • Donald Boudreau Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal



health professionals, education, reflection


Our educational institutions are mandated to equip future physicians and other health care professionals with the scientific, craft, and inter-personal knowledge and skills to meet the demands of contemporary clinical practice. Clinicians must acquire advanced communication skills, develop the ability to manage complex situations, make appropriate use of medical knowledge and technology, and problem-solve through the exercise of refined judgment. The ability to reflect in and on situations of this nature is considered a necessary professional aptitude in order to ensure effective and compassionate whole person care. Notwithstanding the general acceptance of these premises, ‘reflection’ remains a fuzzy concept. It is a polysemous term that has proved difficult to define and has attracted to itself numerous false claims and unfulfilled promises. Excellence in reflective abilities is notoriously difficult to recognize in another individual and it may not be ‘teachable’. Furthermore, there have been recurring doubts as to the feasibility of meaningfully assessing reflection.

We intend to explore these issues in this session. We will demonstrate how reflection can be role-modeled and inculcated.

 Instructional Methods

 This will be an interactive workshop.

 Learning Objectives   

 By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

• clarify the concept of reflection and understand its application to the education of health professionals

• discuss a framework, including specific methods, for the structuring and deployment of an educational program aimed at promoting reflection.




How to Cite

Schei, E., Fuks, A., & Boudreau, D. (2018). De-fuzzification of reflection in the education of health professionals. The International Journal of Whole Person Care, 5(1).