This paper offers a medical-education perspective that I will hope complement other disciplinary perspectives in examining the value of reflection for learning in tertiary education. The paper outlines some of the theoretical strands of reflective practice facilitated in a unique course subject for professionalism and patient safety, within the new spiral curriculum at Leeds University School of Medicine. The material presented in this paper outlines some of what is delivered during the medical students’ interactive sessions; this material is continually modified based on feedback from both students and learning facilitators.

The paper discusses why both students and clinicians need to reflect, some of the theoretical dimensions and models and examples from the Leeds context of how reflective competence can be progressively developed over the course of an undergraduate program.

The focus of the final section suggests directions for reflective practice in the future, where reflexivity takes the form of more collective endeavours requiring some change in culture and perceptions of professional identity. The paper concludes with the proposition that collaborative forms of reflection need to include more involvement of patients, interprofessional communities of practice and the use of learning from other disciplines; all of these require different levels of thinking and different ways of working.