Self-assessment, Self-direction, and the Self-regulating Professional.Regehr, Glenn PhD*†; Eva, Kevin PhD‡§Author Information From the *Wilson Centre for Research in Education, University Health Network; the †Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; the ‡Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics; and the §Program for Educational Research and Development, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. One of the authors (GR) has received funding as the Richard and Elizabeth Currie Chair in Health Professions Education Research. Correspondence to: Glenn Regehr, PhD, Wilson Centre for Research in Education, 1E565-200 Elizabeth Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5G 2C4. Phone: 416-340-3615; Fax: 416-340-3792; E-mail: [email protected] Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research (1976-2007): August 2006 - Volume 449 - Issue - pp 34-38 doi: 10.1097/01.blo.0000224027.85732.b2 Buy Metrics Abstract One of the cornerstones of autonomy for any profession is the claim to self-regulation. To be effectively self-regulating, the profession generally depends on the individual practitioner to self-regulate his own maintenance of competence activities. This model of individual self-regulation, in turn, depends on the practitioner's ability to self-assess gaps in competence and willingness to seek out opportunities to redress these gaps when identified. The literature relevant to these processes, however, would suggest this model of individual self-regulation is overly optimistic. We review the literature and describe several difficulties associated with the traditionally held model of individual self-regulation. In particular, research demonstrates repeatedly that 1) self-assessment is not an effective mechanism to identify areas of personal weakness and that 2) even when areas of weakness are obvious to the adult learner, we often avoid engaging in learning in these areas because such learning often takes more energy and commitment than we are willing to expend. Implications of these difficulties for the current model of self-regulation are explored. © 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.