Educational epidemiology: applying population-based design and analytic approaches to study medical education.

Department of Community and Family Medicine, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover and Lebanon, NH 03756, USA.
JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association (Impact Factor: 29.98). 10/2004; 292(9):1044-50. DOI: 10.1001/jama.292.9.1044
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Conducting educational research in medical schools is challenging partly because interventional controlled research designs are difficult to apply. In addition, strict accreditation requirements and student/faculty concerns about educational inequality reduce the flexibility needed to plan and execute educational experiments. Consequently, there is a paucity of rigorous and generalizable educational research to provide an evidence-guided foundation to support educational effectiveness. "Educational epidemiology," ie, the application across the physician education continuum of observational designs (eg, cross-sectional, longitudinal, cohort, and case-control studies) and randomized experimental designs (eg, randomized controlled trials, randomized crossover designs), could revolutionize the conduct of research in medical education. Furthermore, the creation of a comprehensive national network of educational epidemiologists could enhance collaboration and the development of a strong educational research foundation.

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