A Letter to My Future Self: A Student and an Educator’s Experiences with Future-Oriented Reflection in Medical Education

Authors: Elizabeth LaFrance, BS, BA, Jared Rubenstein, MD


As soon as I (E.L.) set down my laptop, I was excited for that future moment when I would be able to look back, reread the words, and relive the emotions written there. I felt I had truly captured their essence as I put the finishing touches on my reflection paper at the end of my pediatric palliative care rotation as a second-year medical student. The only deliverable for the short course was this small bit of writing. Nothing fancy, and nothing unfamiliar. Reflecting on your experiences, in various forms, has become extremely common in medical education. A quick search on PubMed will tell you that reflection has been proven time and again to solidify a learner’s subjective experiences on the wards in medical school and that reflection has a place in medical education.

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1. Veno M, Silk H, Savageau JA, et al. Evaluating one strategy for including reflection in medical education and practice. Fam Med 2016;48:300–304.