AAMC Medical Education Research Certificate (MERC) Program for Faculty


The AAMC Medical Education Research Certificate (MERC) program is intended to provide the knowledge necessary to understand the purposes and processes of medical education research, to become informed consumers of the medical education research literature, and to be effective collaborators in medical education research. The program is open to all faculty who are interested in improving their educational research skills and is targeted for those with a background in medical education but relatively less experience in conducting educational research.

Logistics:

Each three hour workshop focuses on a key skill or area in educational research, emphasizes opportunities for hands-on activities and active participation, so as to maximize the applicability of the workshop principles.  Faculty can enroll in any number of workshops in the series, however,  ALL six workshops must be completed in order to qualify for the certificate from AAMC.  (Please note that you will need to apply through AAMC to receive your certificate and the cost is $100.  See the MERC website for more information.)

Workshops facilitated by Larry Gruppen, PhD, Chair for the Department of Medical Education

Winter Dates

  1. Formulating Research Questions and Designing Studies (Monday, January 13, 2014, 8am-11am) - Register here . Room 3114 of Med Sci I (C Wing)
  2. Searching and Evaluating the Medical Education Literature (Tuesday, Jan. 21, 8am-11am) - Register here . Room 3114 of Med Sci I (C Wing)
  3. Questionnaire Design and Survey Research (Thursday, Jan. 30, 1pm-4pm) - Register here . BSRB Seminar Rooms
  4. Introduction to Qualitative Data Collection Methods (Monday, Feb. 10, 8am-11am) - Register here . Room 3114 of Med Sci I (C Wing)
  5. Program Evaluation and Evaluating Research (Thursday, Feb. 13, 1pm-4pm) - Register hereBSRB Seminar Rooms
  6. Scholarly Writing: Publishing Medical Education Research (Friday, Feb. 21, 8am-11am) - Register hereRoom 3114 of Med Sci I (C Wing)

Curriculum (Register for each workshop you wish to attend):

  1. Formulating Research Questions and Designing Studies 

In this workshop, participants will brainstorm research ideas, write, and refine a measurable research question. They will discuss when IRB approval is required for their study. The basics of research design will be discussed and applied to their selected research question. Participants will be able to:

  • Write a FINER (feasible, interesting, novel, ethical, relevant) educational research question;
  • Specify an educational research area of interest;
  • Evaluate whether they need IRB approval for their study;
  • Select the correct design for their research question.

      2.  Searching and Evaluating the Medical Education Literature 

This workshop is intended for medical educators and clinician educators who want to learn how to effectively search the published medical education literature and to evaluate the value of those searches. After participating in this workshop, learners will be able to:

  • Formulate an effective approach to searching the medical education literature;
  • Conduct a search using relevant MeSH headings;
  • Communicate effectively with a research librarian;
  • Evaluate the search results using specific review criteria.

      3.   Questionnaire Design and Survey Research 

This workshop will provide some basic principles in questionnaire/survey design and give workshop participants an opportunity for hands-on experience designing a questionnaire. Following participating in this workshop, learners will be able to:

  • Design a blueprint for a survey/questionnaire appropriate to their own application;
  • Construct and edit questions to avoid common problems in wording and framing;
  • Select an appropriate response format from a menu of alternatives;
  • Design the overall format of the survey/questionnaire to facilitate data management and analysis.

       4.   Introduction to Qualitative Data Collection Methods 

This workshop is intended for physicians in medical education, as well as faculty involved in student affairs, who wish to develop perspectives and skills for collecting qualitative data, such as data from focus group discussions, interviews, observation field notes, and responses to open-ended questions---used in admissions processes, program development, curriculum evaluation, needs assessments, performance evaluation, and various scholarship and research applications.

After participating in this workshop, learners will be able to:

  • Demonstrate applied knowledge of the appropriate selection, use, and standards for rigor of some common methods for collection of qualitative data;
  • Generate research questions appropriate for qualitative studies and choose appropriate data collection methods;
  • Demonstrate applied knowledge of approaches to achieve rigor in the design of qualitative studies and collection of qualitative data;
  • Demonstrate essential skills required for conducting focus groups

       5.  Program Evaluation and Evaluating Research 

This workshop introduces participants to fundamental principles of educational program evaluation, and provides participants with a strategy for developing an evaluation plan. After participating in this workshop, learners will be able to:

  • Describe program evaluation and its purposes;
  • Identify barriers to program evaluation;
  • Identify models used in evaluation;
  • Describe the steps of an evaluation;
  • Develop an evaluation plan.

       6.  Scholarly Writing: Publishing Medical Education Research

In this session, the skills of scholarly writing will be explored through the lens of analyzing a manuscript that was accepted for publication. The participants will examine review criteria that are used by healthcare education journals and apply them to a sample manuscript. In discussing scholarly writing the participants will make a decision about the type of feedback they would give to the authors of the sample paper. At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the components of a scholarly publication;
  • Discuss how to frame a problem statement;
  • Identify an effective Research Question;
  • Discuss whether the Design/method is appropriate to the question;
  • Discuss whether the authors have applied the best data collection methods to the appropriate sample;
  • Understand the Results section and how to present results in a clear manner.
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