The Discovery Pathway in Medical Education is a formal track within the University of Florida College of Medicine curriculum designed to expose students interested in education and academic medicine to the scholarship of teaching and learning in a medical/clinical environment. This track draws heavily on the growing body of evidence-based literature about the process and outcomes of medical education that has contributed to our understanding of teaching, learning and assessment at all levels of professional training – UME, GME and CME. We believe that a thoughtful, rigorous, evidence-based medical education curriculum leading to scholarly discovery has the potential to improve the quality of education for physicians in training, enhance teaching skills and methods, and will ultimately lead to improved patient care. Engaging in educational scholarship will also help prepare medical students for leadership roles in academic medicine.
Overall Goals and Objectives:
Students will undertake mentored, in-depth inquiry. Successful completion of this pathway requires a final capstone project, demonstrating educational scholarship, submitted during the fourth year.
Boyer (Scholarship Reconsidered; 1990, p. 16) defines four types of educational scholarship
- Discovery (discovery of new knowledge; traditional research);
- Integration (insights and connections across disciplines; interdisciplinary);
- Application (using knowledge or theory to solve problems);
- Teaching (transmitting, transforming and extending knowledge).
Documentation of educational scholarship therefore includes:
- manuscript, abstract, or other scholarly publication;
- oral presentation or poster presented at a venue approved by the course director/track leader;
- development and evaluation of enduring product(s) (e.g., teaching tools, curricular modules).
At the completion of medical education discovery pathway, students will not only become informed consumers of the medical education research literature, but will also be prepared to contribute through their own research.
Specific learning objectives for this pathway include:
- Demonstrate foundational understanding of social science and educational research methods and the statistical/data analysis methods necessary to support a scholarly approach to the study of education in medicine and the health professions.
- Formulate a research question or problem statement and use appropriate and rigorous methods to conduct a final project that will be reviewed by faculty and peers for public dissemination.
- Know the IRB policies put in place to ensure the protection of human research subjects and apply this knowledge to develop a protocol to be submitted to IRB-02 (Behavioral/NonMedical IRB).
- Read and critically analyze articles published in medical education journals, e.g. Academic Medicine; Teaching and Learning in Medicine; Simulation in Healthcare.
- Learn and apply instructional methods in one or more of the contexts in which medical education takes place.
A typical student will identify an area of interest during the first year, participate in the Medical Student Research Program (MSRP) during the summer between first and second years, and expand on this experience during Years 2 – 4.
- Develop an individual planned program (IPP) in collaboration with a faculty mentor and the course director that includes project objectives, action/research plan with timeline, anticipated outcomes, and assessment/evaluation criteria.
- Mentorship can be provided by faculty who have completed the Master Educator Fellowship, other faculty engaged in educational scholarship, and UF faculty in other colleges and departments both within and outside of the Academic Health Sciences Center.
- Complete additional curricular requirements as agreed upon in your IPP.
- Attendance at all required seminars and meetings.
- Submit and present final project.
Outcomes and Assessment
Students will develop an individualized planned program in collaboration with the faculty mentor and the course director that includes project goals and outcomes.
Each student is required to submit a scholarly work in his or her fourth year. Educational scholarship will be documented as tangible product, reviewed for quality by faculty/peers, and publicly disseminated. Traditional forms of scholarly work such as publication as an author or co-author in a peer-reviewed journal or a conference presentation (oral presentation or poster), are appropriate.
In addition to conducting a formal educational research study, other more nontraditional products could be submitted as a final project for this track. Examples of acceptable scholarly work include:
- Development of instructional materials, e.g. web-based or other instructional modules that meet an identified educational challenge.
- Curriculum design, e.g. program or course development; innovative revision/enhancement of existing program or course.
- Evaluation and Assessment, e.g., conduct a formal needs assessment; design, development, and psychometric evaluation of an assessment tool.
The final project will be judged according to Glassick’s criteria for scholarship (Scholarship Assessed, 2000):
- Clear goals
- Adequate preparation
- Appropriate methods
- Significant (meaningful) results
- Effective presentation
- Reflective critique
The following article is recommended reading if you are considering the Medical Education discovery pathway:
Crites GE, Gaines JK, Cottrell S, Kalishman S, Gusic M, Mavis B, Durining SJ. Medical education scholarship: An introductory guide. AMEE Guide no. 89. Med Teach. 2014;36:657-674
Timeline for Core Components of Medical Education Discovery Pathway
The Research and Discovery Foundations of Medicine, a required course in the fall semester is part of the core curriculum and provides foundational material for those students who elect to conduct a formal educational research study.
- Medical Student Research Program (MSRP)
- Attend introductory track meeting to discuss course objectives
- Identify faculty mentor
- Develop individualized planned program with faculty mentor and course director
- Meet with mentor monthly to review progress
Track specific learning activities include at least one Thursday afternoon seminar per semester and independent completion of agreed upon modules or other professional learning activities. Students must document attendance or online module completion of at least three additional contact hours per semester. This goal can be accomplished by participation in any of the following:
- Medical Education Journal Club (frequency: monthly)
- Educational Grand Rounds sponsored by individual departments (varies)
- Seminars in the Educational Development series sponsored by the Office for Faculty Development (frequency: once a month with archived video presentations)
- Approved seminars in the Professional development series sponsored by the Office for Faculty Development (frequency: once a month with archived video presentations)
- Attendance at noontime presentations during the annual UFCOM Medical Education week (frequency: one week each year)
- Educational Scholarship Learning Community (in person attendance or viewing of videos and PowerPoint presentations)
Reading assignments including recent educational literature and selected textbooks depending on the IPP and the project.
Depending on the type of project you select here are examples of relevant textbooks that may help with your project:
- Assessment in Health Professions Education by Steven M. Downing and Rachel Yudkowsky (May 18, 2009)
- Curriculum Development for Medical Education: A Six-Step Approach by David E. Kern, Patricia A. Thomas and Mark T. Hughes (Oct 22, 2009)
- Educational Research: Planning, Conducting, and Evaluating Quantitative and Qualitative Research (4th Edition)… by John W. Creswell (Mar 14, 2011)
- Health Measurement Scales: A practical guide to their development and use by David L Streiner and Geoffrey R Norman (Dec 15, 2008)
- International Handbook of Research in Medical Education (Springer International Handbooks of Education) by Geoffrey R. Norman, Cees P.M. van der Vleuten and D.I. Newbie (Sep 12, 2014)
Meet once each semester with your faculty mentor and the course director.
Attend two group seminar meetings with other track members.
- Elective in Medical Education Research
- If your project is not a research study must choose from among 4th year electives or experiences to demonstrate acquisition of knowledge and skills relative to teaching to include:
- Becoming an Effective Resident Teacher MDT 7530
- Serving as a Teaching Assistant in a First or Second Year course, e.g., Teaching Assistant in Anatomy MDT 7520
- Serving as a Physical Exam Teaching Assistant (PETA) in the Harrell Assessment Center
- Attendance at the one-day Residents as Teachers program (with approval of the program director, Dr. Lisa Dixon).