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Reflective Writing: A Potential Tool to Improve Interprofessional Teamwork with Radiologists


Rationale and Objectives: Studies show that problems with interprofessional collaboration can result in adverse patient outcomes. These problems are common in the field of radiology, where technology has decreased opportunities for direct communication and collaboration with referring physicians. To our knowledge, critical reflection has not been studied as an intervention to better understand one's own and/or others' roles in the context of an interprofessional team, or more specifically, to improve interprofessional collaboration between radiologists and other physicians. Materials and Methods: We trialed a reflective journaling assignment in our fourth year medical student general radiology elective. Student journal content was scored by percentage of comments reflecting on elective experiences versus recounting events. Content was categorized as "reflection" using an established measurement tool. Reflective content was evaluated to identify common themes. Results: A total of 31 journals (178 entries and 26,749 words) were analyzed. Reflective content accounted for 43% of overall content and was subdivided into three categories: insight into one's own role and responsibilities as an ordering physician (20%), insight into a radiologist's role and responsibilities (12%), and thoughts on improving interprofessional collaboration with radiologists (11%). Conclusions: Reflective writing allows students to explore their own role and responsibilities in the context of an interprofessional team and may improve interprofessional teamwork with radiologists.

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