|LETTER TO EDITOR
|Year : 2019 | Volume
| Issue : 3 | Page : 196-197
Reconsidering the axioms of medical education researches – What we need first?
V Dinesh Kumar
Department of Anatomy, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India
|Date of Submission||06-Dec-2018|
|Date of Decision||27-Mar-2019|
|Date of Acceptance||07-Apr-2019|
|Date of Web Publication||13-Aug-2019|
V Dinesh Kumar
Department of Anatomy, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|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 2019 Aug 20];6:196-7. Available from: http://www.cjhr.org/text.asp?2019/6/3/196/264378
I read the editorial by Badyal  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. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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. 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.
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
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