Revisiting Feed Forward: Promoting a Student-Centered Approach to Education Handoffs, Remediation, and Clerkship Success

Neil Masangkay, Jennifer Adams, Brian Dwinnell, Joshua T. Hanson, Sharad Jain, Sara Tariq

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Issue: Throughout medical school, and especially during clerkships, students experience changing work and learning environments and are exposed to new academic, interpersonal, and professional challenges unique to clinical learning. Given the siloed nature of clinical rotations, students often “fall through the cracks” and may repeatedly struggle through clerkships without support and coaching from which they would otherwise benefit. Many institutions have grappled with creating feed forward processes, that is, educational handoffs in which information is shared among faculty about struggling students with the intention of providing longitudinal support to ensure their success, while protecting students from negative bias that may follow them throughout the remainder of their medical school tenure. Evidence: Here, the authors describe the feed forward processes of four medical schools. Each school’s process relies on close collaboration between course directors and deans to identify students and develop intervention plans. Course leadership and administration are typically the primary drivers for long-term follow-up with students. The number of participants in the process varies, with only one school directly involving students. Two schools hold larger, regularly scheduled meetings with up to 12 faculty present in their institution’s feed forward process. Across these institutions, students can “graduate” from the feed forward process once they achieve competency in the areas of concern. Implications: The authors believe the most important outcome achieved is the formalization and adherence to a feed forward process. Thus, risk to students in the form of negative bias is mitigated by the flow of information, the extent to which information is available, and permitting students to be part of the process. These exemplars give insight into variable approaches to feed forward systems adopted by medical schools and demonstrate highly visible methodologies by which educational leadership empower students and educators toward a shared goal of student progress and achievement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-485
Number of pages9
JournalTeaching and Learning in Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2023


  • Clinical clerkship
  • clinical competence
  • educational handoff
  • feed forward
  • medical education/methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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