The research contributions of predominantly North American Family Medicine educators to medical learner feedback: a descriptive analysis following a scoping review

Background and objectives: In 2016, we performed a scoping review as a means of mapping what is known in the literature about feedback to medical learners. In this descriptive analysis, we explore a subset of the results to assess the contributions of predominantly North American family medicine educators to the feedback literature.

Methods: Nineteen articles extracted from our original scoping review plus six articles identified from an additional search of the journal Family Medicine are described in-depth.

Results: The proportion of articles involving family medicine educators identified in our scoping review is small (n=19/650, 3%) and the total remains low (25) after including additional articles (n=6) from a Family Medicine search. They encompass a broad range of feedback methods and content areas. They primarily originated in the United States (n=19) and Canada (n=3) within Family Medicine Departments (n=20) and encompass a variety of scientific and educational research methodologies.

Conclusions: The contributions of predominantly North American Family Medicine educators to the literature on feedback to learners are sparse in number and employ a variety of focus areas and methodological approaches. More studies are needed to assess for areas of education research where family physicians could make valuable contributions.