MRCGP & GP Training

The MSF (Multi Source Feedback)

What is the MSF all about?

The MSF highlights two things:

  1. Performance (areas to be commended)
  2. Possible suggested areas for development

And this will be in relation to two things – the clinical side of you and the non-clinical side of you.  People who you work with (doctors & non-doctors) will be required to give you feedback.  Clearly the doctors and nurses can only give feedback on your clinical abilities but everyone who you have invited will be asked to comment on the non-clinical bits like punctuality, appearance, behaviour, working with teams and so on.

an overall assessment for each of the following boxes:

What sort of clinical things are we talking about?

The doctor’s ability to…

  • conduct a thorough history and physical
  • identify patients’ problems
  • take a diagnostic patient-centred approach
  • select appropriate diagnostic tests
  • involve members of the primary health care team appropriately
  • learn from clinical practice
  • perform clinical and technical skills skillfully
  • manage time appropriately

What sort of non-clinical things?

The doctor…

  • is caring of patients
  • is respectful to patients
  • show no prejudice in the care of patients
  • communicates effectively with patients
  • respects other colleagues’ roles in the health care team
  • works constructively in the health care team
  • communicates effectively with colleagues
  • speaks good English and at an appropriate level for patients
  • does not shirk his/her responsibilities
  • demonstrates commitment to their work as a member of the team
  • takes responsibility for own learning

Other Questions

This two question Multi-Source Feedback (MSF) was developed by Drs Douglas Murphy, David Bruce and Kevin Eva on behalf of NHS Education Scotland (2005-2006).

  • You need to do 2 sets in ST1 (5 clinicians only in hospital posts.  In primary care, 5 clinicians, mainly GPs, and 5 non-clinicians)
  • You don’t have to do any in in ST2 (although is often useful)
  • You need to do 2 sets of 10 in ST3  (5 clinicians and 5 non-clinicians)

The first point we would like to make is that the trainee (you) are responsible for organising the MSF and recruiting people to take part.  Results are anonymous, but your Educational Supervisor (not trainer) will be aware of who the raters were, to ensure there has been a good spread of different raters.

  • In the hospital setting: only clinical staff will be asked to give an overall rating for the two boxes above (with space for specific descriptive feedback). Non clinical staff will not be involved in the assessment.
  • In the General Practice Setting: clinical and NON-clinical staff (eg reception staff) will be asked to rate you. However, only clinical staff will be asked to rate you in terms of both boxes (attitudes & clinical ability); non-clinical staff will only rate you for box 1 (attitudes)

The results will NOT be automatically released.  Only your Educational Supervisor (not trainer) can release your results.  So email them to “release the MSF results”.   This is a protective mechanism in case the Educational Supervisor thinks it needs to be handled sensitively and in person.    

Any top tips?

  • Our guidance is quite simple really. Read, familiarise and make sure you understand all the behavioural markers for the the two boxes (clinical and non-clinical) above. Try and aspire to doing the things in the two boxes.   Identify what you need to work on and try improving it from your heart. 
  • Of course, you can’t be a great doctor without having good clinical skills too so try to make the most of the learning opportunites in your posts and try to exude enthusiasm for both the job and learning. Don’t forget, you can learn from all members of the team, not just the doctors (and they’ll be so honoured you asked them).
  • Do not treat non-doctors like crap! We’ve seen trainees do this (not often because of a fault of their own but often because of a the training system they’ve been through which puts doctors above everyone else).  Everyone is your fellow being and we are all equals. In fact, it is the togetherness of working that makes the whole NHS work.  Everyone one of us is like a cog in a clock – and every cog is important, no matter how big or small.
  • Please download, read and use the practical MSF resources in the DOWNLOADS section above: this will take the headache out of organising the MSF.   It’s been written by trainees based on their experience.  Take this opportunity and learn from them.

Please leave a comment

What do you think of this page?  Is there anything we have missed?  Anything inaccurate, errors or broken links?  Anything you would have liked included?   Or even ask a question to get a discussion going.  Please leave a comment below and we’ll update the page.   If you would prefer to email me or send me something to share with others, contact [email protected]

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