Student and Teacher Perspectives on Equity in Clinical Feedback: A Qualitative Study Using a Critical Race Theory Lens

Hyacinth R.C. Mason, Maria Pérez, Eve R. Colson, Donna B. Jeffe, Eva M. Aagaard, Arianne Teherani, Janice L. Hanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose The authors aimed to gain a better understanding of students' and teachers' perspectives about whether clinical clerkship feedback is provided equitably irrespective of a student's race/ethnicity. Method A secondary analysis of existing interview data was conducted, focusing on racial/ethnic disparities in clinical grading. Data had been acquired from 29 students and 30 teachers at 3 U.S. medical schools. The authors performed secondary coding on all 59 transcripts, writing memos focused on statements related to aspects of feedback equity and developing a template for coding students' and teachers' observations and descriptions specific to clinical feedback. Using the template, memos were coded, and thematic categories emerged describing perspectives on clinical feedback. Results Forty-eight (22 teachers and 26 students) participants' transcripts provided narratives about feedback. Both student and teacher narratives described how students who are racially/ethnically underrepresented in medicine may receive less helpful formative clinical feedback needed for professional development. Thematic analysis of narratives yielded 3 themes related to feedback inequities: 1) teachers' racial/ethnic biases influence the feedback they provide students, 2) teachers have limited skill sets to provide equitable feedback, and 3) racial/ethnic inequities in the clinical learning environment shape clinical and feedback experiences. Conclusions Narratives indicated that both students and teachers perceived racial/ethnic inequities in clinical feedback. Teacher- and learning environment-related factors influenced these racial/ethnic inequities. These results can inform medical education's efforts to mitigate biases in the learning environment and provide equitable feedback to ensure every student has what they need to develop into the competent physician they aspire to be.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S68-S74
JournalAcademic Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2023


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