Recently I was preparing for a humongous, horrible and highly significant medical-interview. At stake, was my entire career - well future prospects anyway. One of the things one does in this situation is to review one's professional portfolio. In it I have a section - beyond all the publications and professional qualifications on Reflective Practice.
This is there, because it is a requirement. Please don't misunderstand me, I think that reflecting on one's practice is vital, continuous and at the core of what we do. It's just that when someone gives me a piece of paper and tells me to "Reflect" I don't find it very helpful. Over my seven years of being a doctor there are a few interesting things I've put in there, often when things have not gone as well as we'd hoped. Learning how to deal with the unavoidable problems in medicine is - well - unavoidable... What really caught my eye though was something, again that was forced, which was a piece of reflective writing we had to do before qualifying.
My medical school - as do many - arranged for us to spend two weeks shadowing the doctor we would replace when we started work. This is a vital part of the process; learning where the blood bottles are kept, meeting the ward sister and learning how that particular job works. At the end of this time, we had to write something; this is what I wrote. 7 years on, I'm wondering what I would write now as a 'middle-grade' doctor.