The Centre for Medical Education is a thriving hub for healthcare education research. We are part of Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, one of the largest teaching hospitals in Europe. We have local, national and international education research collaborations. Our staff produce high quality outputs in leading medical education journals and are invited to present their research at international conferences such as ASME and AMEE. We regularly attract external funding to support our research. Our key areas of research include:
- Scholarship of teaching, learning and assessment
Our members of staff have expertise in a wide range of quantitative and qualitative methodologies used in education research. These include focus groups, interviews, video observation, discourse analysis, questionnaire design, thematic analysis, modified Delphi, model generation, and development of instruments and methods for measurement.
As members of the Graduate School our Masters and PhD students are part of a body of over 3000 research and taught postgraduates.In addition to academic supervision within the Centre our PhD students are supported through the University’s generic skills programme and by a thesis monitoring committee. Our students have access to an extensive seminar programme run by the Institute of Health Skills and Education as well as the College of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing.
Scholarship of Teaching, Learning and Assessment
Research at the Centre for Medical Education focuses on teaching, learning and assessment within healthcare education. In terms of teaching, research includes development and evaluation of formal curricula for undergraduate and postgraduate medical education such as e-learning programmes for benchmarked peer and self-assessment in Polyprofessionalism for all members of the healthcare team. In terms of learning, research includes understanding what and how students learn (in terms of professionalism, clinical skills, clinical reasoning and so on). through formal, informal and hidden curricula (for example within simulated and workplace-based settings). In terms of assessment, research includes the design of assessment methods for undergraduate and postgraduate courses in healthcare professions and establishing their utility (such as reliability, validity, acceptability and so on).
There is no single definition of professionalism: definitions vary according to the different cultural contexts in which definitions are constructed (Monrouxe, Rees & Hu). Some discourses of professionalism focus on the attributes possessed by individuals (such as ethics, honesty, communication) and others focus on ‘collective' attributes such as the profession's contract with society. Influenced by social constructionism, other discourses (such as interpersonal and complexity discourses) focus on professionalism as a contextually bound phenomenon emerging through complex social interaction (Monrouxe, Rees & Hu). Influenced by notions of the formal, informal and hidden curriculum (Hafferty, 1998), research endeavours relating to professionalism in healthcare education typically centre on four fundamental research questions:
- What is professionalism?
- How should professionalism be taught?
- How is professionalism learnt?
- How should professionalism be assessed?
Research at the Centre for Medical Education intersects all four of these research questions.
In addition to academic supervision within the Centre our PhD students are supported through the University’s generic skills programme and by a thesis monitoring committee. Our PhD students are encouraged to interact with fellow research students within the Centre and across different Schools in the University. Through our research activities we are continuing to develop a worldwide community of Dundee scholars across undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing education. If you want to find out more information about our research, discuss possible research collaborations or are thinking of doing a PhD, please contact us.