Identity influences on medical students’ orientation to feedback during third year clinical rotations

Charee M. Thompson, Anna M. Kerr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Medical students’ feedback orientation (their attitudes about and preferences for feedback from preceptors) may change over the course of the third year of medical school and is likely influenced by identity-related factors. This study proposed that both how students view themselves personally (i.e., impostor syndrome) and how they view themselves in relation to the group (i.e., identification with the profession) are identity factors related to related to feedback orientation during clinical rotations. 177 third-year medical students enrolled in a four-phase longitudinal survey study beginning at the start of clinical rotations and continuing every twelve weeks of the academic year thereafter. Feedback orientation was conceptualized and measured as comprising aspects of utility (i.e., feedback is valuable and useful), sensitivity (i.e., feeling intimidated or threatened by corrective feedback), confidentiality (i.e., public/private context of feedback), and retention (i.e., feedback remembered). Results indicated that these aspects of feedback orientation did not significantly change during the third year. Instead, impostor syndrome was at least marginally, significantly associated with all aspects of feedback orientation across phases. Group identity was associated with feedback utility and retention, and female-identifying students reported significantly greater feedback confidentiality and feedback retention. Interventions may be needed to improve medical students’ attitudes about feedback, particularly for those who experience impostor syndrome. Fostering group cohesion among medical students may influence how well students remember feedback and find it useful.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-486
Number of pages10
JournalAdvances in Health Sciences Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2024


  • Feedback
  • Group
  • Identity
  • Impostor syndrome
  • Medical students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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