Researching Medical Education
Professor Jennifer Cleland is John Simpson Chair of Medical Education, University of Aberdeen, and Chair, Association for the Study of Medical Education (ASME) Professor Steven J. Durning is Professor of Medicine and Pathology, Uniformed Services University, Bethesda, and Chair, Association for Medical Education Europe (AMEE) Research Group
Researching Medical Education
The intent of Researching Medical Education is to provide an authoritative guide to promote excellence in educational research in the healthcare professions (which includes medicine, nursing, dentistry and other fields).
Rigorous and original educational research in healthcare professions is critical to the future of healthcare education and, hence, ultimately, patient care. By encouraging thinking, discovery, evaluation, innovation, teaching, learning and improvement via research, the gaps between best practice and what actually happens in medical (and other healthcare professions) education can be addressed. In this way, knowledge can inform and advance education and practice, while education and practice can, in turn, inform and advance future research.
We have to ask the right questions, and answer them in the right way for a field of research to progress. To do so requires drawing on not just the existing education literature in healthcare professions but also the broader educational, sociological, cognitive and psychological literatures. These open our minds to different ways of thinking and working via different theories and methods, and different perspectives on the fundamental nature of research. To this end, our objectives in Researching Medical Education are to provide readers with the basic building blocks of research, introduce a range of theories and how to use a theory to underpin research, provide examples and illustrations of a diversity of methods and their use and, finally, give guidance on developing your practice as a researcher. By linking theory and design and methods across the context of educational research in healthcare professions, this book supports the improvement of quality, capacity building and knowledge generation within our field. This moves the focus of our work from local evaluation, assessment and audit to considering problems more generally, in terms of how they may contribute to new knowledge about learning, teaching and education.
There are many textbooks available that introduce theories, research designs and methodologies relevant to educational research in healthcare professions. However, most are not written specifically with this field of enquiry in mind and this can limit their impact. In contrast, this textbook is embedded with healthcare profession education and is illustrated throughout with examples from healthcare education and from selection to learning and teaching to professional development, drawn from international settings, using language and metaphors accessible to those working in, and wishing to work in, educational research. Reflecting our own backgrounds and the relationship of this book with the immensely successful Understanding Medical Education , the majority of examples are drawn from medical education. However, the aims and objectives of the book, and its key messages, are generalisable across any healthcare profession, or indeed any other profession, where learning knowledge, skills and attitudes are central to professional development.
Researching Medical Education provides a guide for Masters and PhD students in healthcare profession education and their supervisors; those who are new to the field, those who are generally inexperienced in research, those who are new to the field of educational research but have prior research experience in the clinical or biomedical domains and experienced researchers seeking to explore new ways of thinking and working. With this broad audience in mind, we have designed the book to be of value to degree programme students and faculty; those juggling a portfolio of clinical work, teaching and research; and those few whose sole focus is research. To achieve these objectives, our authors are a blend of clinicians and PhD researchers in healthcare profession education, representing a range of disciplines and backgrounds. Their contributions pro