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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 196-197

Reconsidering the axioms of medical education researches – What we need first?

Department of Anatomy, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India

Date of Submission06-Dec-2018
Date of Decision27-Mar-2019
Date of Acceptance07-Apr-2019
Date of Web Publication13-Aug-2019

Correspondence Address:
V Dinesh Kumar
Department of Anatomy, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/cjhr.cjhr_159_18

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How to cite this article:
Kumar V D. Reconsidering the axioms of medical education researches – What we need first?. CHRISMED J Health Res 2019;6:196-7

How to cite this URL:
Kumar V D. Reconsidering the axioms of medical education researches – What we need first?. CHRISMED J Health Res [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 Aug 13];6:196-7. Available from: http://www.cjhr.org/text.asp?2019/6/3/196/264378


I read the editorial by Badyal [1] regarding the changing trends in the medical education research and would like to extend my gratitude for opening up the much-required dialog on its present state. In harmony, I would like to bring about certain complexities which a medical faculty tends to encounter when they try to hone their educational scholarship.

First, evaluating educational interventions are complex when compared to biomedical interventions such as randomized controlled trial for a drug.[2] When we consider students as discrete functional units of a medical college, where multiple interacting elements tend to operate, it becomes imperative for the researcher to imbibe the principles of translational science. Ironically, practical difficulties existing in Indian medical academia seldom allow the researcher to follow up the students over a prolonged period of time so as to assess the accentuation/diminution of the benefits of a complex educational intervention. Majority of the educational researches focus on assessing the intervention (e.g., flipped classroom) using quantitative approach (either using questionnaire or comparison of pre- and posttest scores) which gives a keyhole visualization of a complex process. Therefore, it is necessary to change our perspective regarding the process of education and this shall not be solely targeted towards generating the data set for making out publications.

Second, being a supplementary area of scholarly activity, the efforts rendered toward medical education research are sometimes undervalued compared to counterpart biomedical researches. Hu et al.[3] postulated the multiple challenges incurred while pursuing genuine committed academic endeavor, and owing to this, they christened the field of medical education research as “Cinderella discipline.” In practical sense, early career faculty who intends to become a prudent medical educational researcher may tend to develop a weak “sense of identity” among fellow health-care professionals and begin to feel cynical about their professional pursuit.[4]

Third, it would be better if the educational researchers frame their research question grounded upon certain philosophy of education. Rather than simply adopting the research question from a previously published paper, assumptions should be made by matching the nature of existing reality (ontology) prevailing in the institution and nature of knowledge (epistemology) expected at the end of research endeavor.[5] For example, research question depending on subjective reality and depending on social/individual contexts requires a qualitative approach.

Fourth, at times, the gap existing between theory and practice warrants the development of a translational working model.[6] This calls for the incorporation of implementation science principles which seeks to clarify what interventions work where, when, how, and for whom we have to implement those in an effective manner.[5] Institutions need to develop frameworks, similar to the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research which would effectively analyze various components of the existing system and try to figure out the reasons for adoption failure or success of a particular educational intervention.[7]

To conclude, I would like to put forth that, compared to conventional biomedical researchers, medical educational researchers would likely face increased resistance because of their tendency to change the conventional educationa practices. On the other hand, unless evidence-based educational practices are adapted into practice, they tend to remain as discrete publications without significant benefits. Medical education fraternity often faces healthy/unhealthy intersection of the identities such as senior or junior and clinical or academic. Nevertheless, we need to remember that high-flying medical schools of the Western world have achieved the zenith only due to thoughtful conversations about differences in perspectives.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Badyal DK. Research in medical education: Changing trends. CHRISMED J Health Res 2018;5:251-2.  Back to cited text no. 1
  [Full text]  
Mattick K, Barnes R, Dieppe P. Medical education: A particularly complex intervention to research. Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract 2013;18:769-78.  Back to cited text no. 2
Hu WC, Thistlethwaite JE, Weller J, Gallego G, Monteith J, McColl GJ. 'It was serendipity': A qualitative study of academic careers in medical education. Med Educ 2015;49:1124-36.  Back to cited text no. 3
Sethi A, Ajjawi R, McAleer S, Schofield S. Exploring the tensions of being and becoming a medical educator. BMC Med Educ 2017;17:62.  Back to cited text no. 4
Cleland JA, Durning SJ, Driessen E. Medical education research: Aligning design and research goals. Med J Aust 2018;208:473-5.  Back to cited text no. 5
McGaghie WC. Implementation science: Addressing complexity in medical education. Med Teach 2011;33:97-8.  Back to cited text no. 6
Damschroder LJ, Aron DC, Keith RE, Kirsh SR, Alexander JA, Lowery JC. Fostering implementation of health services research findings into practice: A consolidated framework for advancing implementation science. Implement Sci 2009;4:50.  Back to cited text no. 7


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