In deliberate practice, learners and teachers periodically stop and assess their experiences and circumstances in order to make a plan to improve. The first two components - stopping and assessing - constitute reflective practice. Reflective practice, in turn, falls into three equally important domains. The first domain is cognitive awareness: awareness of what you know and don't know. The second domain is procedural: what kind of technical skills do you have or do you need and what can you or can't you do. The final domain is affective: how do interactions with patients or colleagues, or your work life in general, influence emotions, and what impact does that have on patient care and your own quality of life as a physician.
Through reflection a person is able to see and label forms of thought and theory within the context of his or her work. A person who reflects throughout his or her practice is not just looking back on past actions and events, but is taking a conscious look at emotions, experiences, actions, and responses, and using that information to add to his or her existing knowledge base and reach a higher level of understanding.