Intended for healthcare professionals

Analysis And Comment

What the educators are saying

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 15 June 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:1450
  1. Murray Lough, assistant director (
  1. NHS Education for Scotland, Glasgow G3 8BW

    Medical education research is at a crossroads

    In a rare editorial on medical education, two authors in the Lancet discuss why the specialty “struggles for recognition.” One reason, they say, is that much of the research lacks rigour; another is that individual studies are insufficiently informed by previous work.

    The shaky position of research into medical education is evident in the debate on whether UK universities should include such research in their submissions for the 2008 research assessment exercise. Debate continues on how, and by whom, the submissions will be judged if it is included—and if it isn't, educational researchers' morale and motivation will plummet. Australia is grappling with similar issues with respect to the perceived importance of research into medical education and how much of its health and research funds should be allocated to it.

    Chronic underfunding is cited as a further cause of the weak position of medical education research. In the UK there have been calls for 1.5% of the overall budget for medical education to be set aside for research and development. In the US, the Institute of …

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