Guidelines: The dos, don’ts and don’t knows of remediation in medical education

Calvin L. Chou*, Adina Kalet, Manuel Joao Costa, Jennifer Cleland, Kalman Winston

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction: Two developing forces have achieved prominence in medical education: the advent of competency-based assessments and a growing commitment to expand access to medicine for a broader range of learners with a wider array of preparation. Remediation is intended to support all learners to achieve sufficient competence. Therefore, it is timely to provide practical guidelines for remediation in medical education that clarify best practices, practices to avoid, and areas requiring further research, in order to guide work with both individual struggling learners and development of training program policies. Methods: Collectively, we generated an initial list of Do’s, Don’ts, and Don’t Knows for remediation in medical education, which was then iteratively refined through discussions and additional evidence-gathering. The final guidelines were then graded for the strength of the evidence by consensus. Results: We present 26 guidelines: two groupings of Do’s (systems-level interventions and recommendations for individual learners), along with short lists of Don’ts and Don’t Knows, and our interpretation of the strength of current evidence for each guideline. Conclusions: Remediation is a high-stakes, highly complex process involving learners, faculty, systems, and societal factors. Our synthesis resulted in a list of guidelines that summarize the current state of educational theory and empirical evidence that can improve remediation processes at individual and institutional levels. Important unanswered questions remain; ongoing research can further improve remediation practices to ensure the appropriate support for learners, institutions, and society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-338
Number of pages17
JournalPerspectives on medical education
Issue number6
Early online date6 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • At-risk students
  • Feedback
  • Remediation
  • Struggling learner


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