Workshop E

Alimentation (the Act of Receiving Feedback): Demolish Your Defensiveness

Rodolfo Villarreal-Calderon, MD1 and Shreya Bhatia, MD2

1Department of General Internal Medicine, Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, 2Department of Internal Medicine, Boston Medical Center


A half-built wheel will not roll well. Delivering feedback is a skill upon which many workshops are centered, however, they often only address half of the feedback relationship. What about receiving feedback well? To address this limitation, we propose a model for students, trainees, and staff alike to better receive feedback and have a scaffold for this vital ability for more effective feedback. Implementation can be beneficial in both professional and interpersonal realms. This workshop introduces two terms—alimentate (the act of receiving feedback) and ement (the act of delivering or providing feedback).

Target audience:

Faculty, staff, residents, medical students and anyone who would like to alimentate better and teach others to do the same. This model can also be used in more universal, non-healthcare related settings.

Learning Objectives:

  • Implement the Alimentation Model so as to maintain an openness and productivity to feedback (even in the setting of nonideal delivery)
  • Practice navigating and dissipating defensive thinking when receiving feedback
  • Recognize ways to retrieve and extract feedback in various settings
  • Identify how you best alimentate

Session Outline:

Overview (5 min): Brief introduction, review learning objectives and definitions, outline of the workshop.

Group activity (20 min): Practice receiving feedback in a prompted scenario. Debrief activity and share reflections on person’s alimentation.

Didactics (25 min): Review the Alimentation Model.

Pair Share (25 min): Reflect on personal experience and practice investigating defenses to feedback received.

Wrap up (10 min): Lessons learned, sharing final thoughts, questions and answers. Handouts of Alimentation Model.