Using photography to enhance GP trainees’ reflective practice and professional development

September 2018 Volume 44 Issue 3

Few would argue against the value of the ability to reflect upon one’s actions and one’s practice more broadly. According to photographic artist Rutherford, general practitioner Emer Forde, together with colleagues Jacqueline Priego-Hernandez, Aurelia Butcher and Clare Wedderburn, ‘reflection can foster professionalism, empathy and attitudinal changes’. In making this point, they highlight the Royal College of General Practitioners’ (RCGP) association of reflective capacity and the ability to meet the needs of patients whose cultural backgrounds are different to those of their GPs.

This article documents an innovative educational program for GP trainees midway through their clinical training program, designed to develop reflective practice using photography. The authors suggest that ‘our photographs sometimes offer us glimpses of our personal iconography: allegorical descriptions of the private myths through which we define our Selves, plot course and live our lives’. As such, the trainees’ own photographs offer an opportunity ‘to develop their self-insight as well as their ability, and inclination, to reflect.’

This is how Forde and Rutherford put it:

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