Reflection is Perfection

Updated: May 5

By Hithin Noble

A common set of guidelines for reflecting is the STARR Framework: just Google it. It is an effective way of reflecting, but its thorough nature is in fact its downfall. Personally, it is too time-consuming and rigid for scenarios such as an MMI or traditional interview.

This is my step- to step guide to how to reflect upon an experience that has happened to you. I have called it the DEALL Framework.

1. DESCRIBE

  • 3W’S – who, when, where, did this all take place etc.

  • What happened? OR What did you have to do in the situation?

2. EXPLANATION

  • Reasons for what you just described happening, and the goals that may have been set.

3. ACTIONS

  • What happened next?

  • What was your role in this?

  • How did the whole situation make you feel?

4. LESSONS TO BE LEARNT

  • What did you really take away from the experience? Did you learn a new skill or understand more about a particular aspect of the healthcare system?

  • This is by-far the most important step: but it cannot be done effectively without going through the previous stages first- they all indirectly show your commitment and honesty.

5. LINK TO MEDICAL SCHOOL

  • Demonstrate that what you just reflected upon is applicable to the question just asked.

  • Illustrate that the skills and lessons that you have learnt SHOW why you are suitable candidate for medicine.

  • This is the way you are really going to distinguish yourself from the other candidates in the room.

  • It shows your humble, and a possess a willingness to improve as an individual.

Good Way to Remember: Dragons Eat Arms and Legs, Lovely.


Example Questions: Demonstrate a time where you have shown teamwork.

Example Answer: This is best illustrated by my recent expedition to the peak district, as part of my silver DoFE award. I was working within a team of 6, all of whom were individually assigned a task to perform: mine being to set the walking pace for the group.


The overall goal was to navigate we to the campsite before it got dark. I was very pleased with our end result, as the team successfully reached the checkpoint two hours before schedule. This taught me the importance of listening to one another, in order to best utilise your teammate’s skillsets, leading to a productive and content team environment. These skills are very easily transferable, as listening to your fellow colleagues is a vital skill in both PBL, and within the multidisciplinary team in hospitals.

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