Researching Medical Education (RME 2023)

16th November 2023
Friends House, London

Theme – Alignment Matters From Conception to Communication

Researching Medical Education is a one-day conference for all those interested in medical and clinical education research. The conference is designed and run by the Association for the Study of Medical Education’s Education Research Committee.

This year’s theme of alignment promotes a considered approach to education research, from the initial project idea to dissemination of findings.  ASME ERC have chosen this theme to encompass the alignment of research questions, approaches, methodology and methods, as well as the alignment of research design, conduct, and dissemination with relevant stakeholders’ needs.

We have invited 2 plenary speakers who are known internationally for their considered approach to education research, and organised practical workshops to elucidate how particular research approaches and methods can be aligned.  This year’s programme is structured around the 5 parts of ASME ERC’s new book Starting Research in Clinical Education, with workshop strands about research design, evidence syntheses and mixed methods research, qualitative research, quantitative research, and succeeding in clinical education research.  For the first time, we are inviting ASME members to propose a workshop that aligns with the conference theme, as we are keen to expand the diversity of voices and topics at RME.

As always, RME 2023 will be a welcoming space for learning and progressing research in health professions education. Come along if you are starting, continuing, or leading education research!

This is an in-person event.

‘Researching Medical Education: Alignment Matters from Conception to Communication’ has been approved by the Federation of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom for 6 category 1 (external) CPD credits.

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RME 2023

Assistant Professor Anne de la Croix, Assistant Professor in the Research in Education team, Amsterdam UMC, Faculty of Medicine, Vrije Universiteit

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Anne de la Croix is an Assistant Professor in the Research in Education team, Amsterdam UMC, Faculty of Medicine, Vrije Universiteit. Anne’s research interests are very varied, but reflection, empathy and communication (related to Professional Identity Formation) are at the core of most of her work.  Annes background is in the humanities (Dutch and Linguistics). After being a secondary school teacher for a few years, she landed in the field of Medical Education in 2006 as a PhD student at the University of Birmingham, UK. Since then, she has undertaken many qualitative research projects, making use of a variety of methodologies and approaches. When she became a PhD supervisor herself, she started seeing and understanding the struggles of novice researchers in qualitative research projects. The main message she wants to convey about qualitative work is to embrace its subjective nature. 

Title : Behind the Scenes of Qualitative Research

Some words that could come to mind when talking about qualitative research: Rich. Dynamic. Authentic. Subjective. Confusing. Untrustworthy.

Even though qualitative research in medical education has taken flight in the last two decades, many people experience uncertainty when undertaking a qualitative study for the first time, or struggle when writing qualitatively. One of the main reasons for these struggles is that there are some basic assumptions about ‘doing science’ that find their source in a post-positivist stance, which is fairly dominant in our field. However, qualitative research is a different game with a whole different set of rules. To truly appreciate qualitative research, we need to reframe these post-positivist assumptions and take on a completely different mind-set. A mind-set in which your personal involvement cannot be ignored, in which there is not ‘one truth’ but rather many different possible stories, and in which the outcome and the process are the same thing.

In this highly interactive keynote, Anne de la Croix will talk about aspects of this ‘qualitative research mind-set’ that are often misunderstood. Together, we will embark on hypothetical role-playing as Donald Trump and Greta Thunberg, think about our winter wardrobe, and philosophise about IKEA-furniture. After this talk, you will see how embracing the genuine nature of qualitative research transforms struggles to strengths.

Professor Anthony R. Artino, Jr, Associate Dean for Educational Research, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, DC

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Anthony Artino is a tenured professor and the Associate Dean for Educational Research at the George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, DC, in the United States. He earned his Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Connecticut and also holds master’s degrees in physiology and education. Prior to joining GW, Dr. Artino served 23 years as an active duty military officer, retiring as a U.S. Navy Captain in 2020. He also served as the Deputy Director and co-founder of the Center for Health Professions Education at the Uniformed Services University.

In his current role at GW, Dr. Artino teaches graduate courses, conducts research, mentors students and faculty, and provides administrative leadership in educational research. As a researcher, he has been the Principal Investigator or co-investigator on more than a dozen research grants funded by diverse organizations, including the Association of American Medical Colleges, the U.S. Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, and the National Board of Medical Examiners. His most highly cited works are a blend of research and education articles on a range of topics from examining questionable research practices and understanding academic self-regulation to measuring long-term physician outcomes and developing questionnaires for educational research.

Dr. Artino publishes widely in medical and health professions education and serves on several editorial review boards, including Academic Medicine, Journal of Graduate Medical Education, and Perspectives on Medical Education. He is a fellow of both the Association for Medical Education in Europe and the Aerospace Medical Association.

Dr. Artino is married with four children; they reside in Gaithersburg, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, DC.

Title : Lies, Damned Lies, and Surveys

The great American writer, Mark Twain, once wrote, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Surveys could be added to this list: both statistics and surveys are grounded in “facts” and thus imply objectivity and unimpeachable authority. Yet surveys, when poorly designed and conducted, can include (and often hide) important flaws that can bias results and lead to misleading interpretations, erroneous claims, and unsound decisions. In this keynote address, Dr. Artino will discuss the appropriate applications of surveys as a study method and will introduce six design principles for designing better surveys for educational research.

Click here to view the full event programme : RME Programme 2023_Final

Workshop 1 option A FULL – 10.45 – 12noon
Getting Started in Clinical Education Research
Dr Jenny Routh, University of Surrey, and Prof Robert McKinley, ASME

This workshop is aimed at early career clinical educators (including students) who are planning or considering their first research study in clinical education.

We will explore how to identify appropriate research topics and craft excellent research questions, and will provide an overview of the different research methodologies you may choose to use. Importantly, we will also discuss the significance of ensuring robust alignment between your research questions and the approach you take to answer them.

We will signpost to sources for further detail for individual projects, and general sources of information and support.

We encourage participants to consider an area or research question that they are interested in investigating in advance of the workshop where possible.

Workshop 1 option B FULL – 10.45 – 12noon
Choosing the Perfect Fit: Aligning Review Types with Research Questions
Dr Anél Wiese, University College Cork, and Prof Anne-Marie Reid, University of Leeds

Are you puzzled by the vast array of review types and uncertain about which one is the perfect fit for your research? Then this is the workshop for you. Emphasising the theme of ‘alignment matters,’ this engaging and interactive session will equip you with the knowledge and skills to choose the most appropriate review type that aligns seamlessly with your research objectives.

Join us as we explore various review types, from systematic reviews and scoping reviews to realist reviews and narrative reviews. Through case studies and practical exercises, you will learn how to align your research questions with the most appropriate review type, setting the stage for an effective and impactful study.

Our expert facilitators will guide you through the intricacies of each review type, offering insights into their unique methodologies, purposes, and applications. You will gain a deep understanding of how the chosen review type aligns with your research questions, adding to the strength of your findings. Discover the challenges and considerations in the selection process, and uncover strategies to overcome them. Engage in interactive group activities to put your newfound knowledge into practice, honing your skills in making research-driven decisions.

Don’t miss this opportunity to unlock the potential of your research, equipped to navigate the world of reviews with confidence and precision.

Workshop 1 option C – 10.45 – 12noon
What can UKMED be used for? 
Chris McManus, University College London

UKMED provides exciting opportunities for research. However, the sheer scale of the dataset places particular focus on understanding exactly what UKMED can be used for. This workshop aims to help participants to explore this by:

  • Understanding the UKMED process
  • Illustrating the breadth of UKMED and the research that has been done
  • Learning key lessons from successful projects
  • Understanding what help is available

Workshop 1 option D FULL – 10.45 – 12noon
Research Paradigm Refresher
Dr Alison Ledger, University of Queensland and Dr Lisi Gordon, University of Dundee

Have you got your ‘isms’ in a twist?  Getting your tongue around the various ‘ologies’ in health professions education research?  This workshop will be an opportunity to develop or refresh your understanding of research paradigms, the building blocks of research design and the foundations of alignment in education research. Through a series of practical exercises, together we will work through the philosophical underpinnings, language, and application of common research paradigms in health professions education research. 

Workshop 1 option E FULL – 10.45 – 12noon
Developing a Career in Clinical Education Research

Prof Gillian Vance, Newcastle University, and Dr Richard Conn, Ulster University

This workshop will address the often tricky issue of aligning research in clinical education with busy clinical and/or education roles.  The pathway to develop a research career can seem elusive, and fraught with too many obstacles. Accordingly, in this workshop, we will consider the challenges facing new and developing researchers, and formulate a set of strategies to support successful entry into, and progression along a clinical education career pathway. We will draw on personal experiences of educators across disciplines, professions and career stages to illustrate the range of ways to navigate and overcome barriers. By the end of the session, you will be able to appreciate the breadth of careers in clinical education; recognise opportunities to build skills and experience in clinical education research and construct an effective plan for a career path.

Workshop 2 option A FULL – 13.45 – 15.00
Patients, Public, and the Stakeholder Perspective in Medical Education Research
Dr Tristan Price, University of Plymouth and co-facilitator Dr Lyndsey Withers, University Hospitals Plymouth Trust  

This interactive workshop will take a fresh look at the role of stakeholders at all stages of research, from design to dissemination. Stakeholder engagement, especially PPI, can often be seen as a tick box exercise in research design. Drawing on the experiences of the facilitators (a PPI research stakeholder and an academic researcher) and workshop participants, the session will highlight examples of best practice and ways in which stakeholder engagement can add both rigour and relevance to research projects.  In particular, the facilitators will present some examples of the way in which stakeholders are involved in realist research, as a springboard for discussion on the potential for more meaningful stakeholder engagement in other research methodologies

Workshop 2 option B FULL – 13.45 – 15.00

Interviews and focus groups: designing and conducting rigorous, ethical qualitative research.

Dr Heather Strange, Cardiff University

Qualitative interviews and focus groups are commonly used in health professions education research. Both techniques generate rich, descriptive data on the experiences, perspectives and needs of educators, learners, and patients, and can be used to explore known areas interest and identify new and emerging research questions. Involving close engagement with research participants, and often addressing sensitive and personal topics, the work of designing and conducting interview and/or focus-group based health research demands particular focus on research rigor and ethical conduct. 

This workshop is designed for those new to qualitative methods. The value and purpose of interviews and focus groups, and qualitative methods more generally, will be outlined. We will explore the two techniques in detail, considering their various strengths and weaknesses, and how these relate to questions of research design, rigor, and ethics.  Participants will be encouraged to consider whether and how they may use interviews and/or focus groups within their future research, and will be given the opportunity to design and conduct mock interviews/focus groups

Workshop 2 option C – 13.45 – 15.00
Greater than the sum of its parts: Using composite narratives in medical education research

Dr Zoë McElhinney and Dr Catherine Kennedy, University of Dundee

Composite narratives blend the accounts of multiple research participants to produce combined narratives that illustrate the features of the participants’ shared experiences.  This qualitative approach has increasingly been used in medical education research, with the potential to powerfully communicate research findings accessibly for a range of audiences.  This workshop will explore the method and its possible role, strengths, and limitations.   In keeping with the theme of alignment, we will discuss areas of research that would lend themselves to incorporating this method in research design and analysis, including reasons for using composite narratives.  Next, through considering examples from research in medical education and the social sciences, we will explore how the use of this method influences decisions regarding methodological approach, data collection, analysis and presentation of data.  We will consider issues of trustworthiness, reflexivity and the implications for researchers using this method in their own research.

Workshop 2 option D – 13.45 – 15.00
Postgraduate Research Exchanges 
Dr Lisi Gordon, University of Dundee and ASME ERC members

Across two sessions, 6 postgraduate researchers (i.e. PhD, Professional Doctorate, MD, or MRes students) will present their work in progress for discussion.  Presenters have been asked to reflect on the conference theme of alignment in relation to their projects, and to propose a question they would like to discuss with the audience.  The emphasis of these sessions is on discussion and ideas exchange.  Come along to hear about the latest postgraduate research in health professions education and to support our early career research community!

Workshop 2 option E FULL – 13.45 – 15.00
Write, Review, Revise, Publish: EDI in Educational Research and Scholarship
Dr Aileen Barrett, The Clinical Teacher, Dr Amaya Ellawala, Hull York Medical School and Dr Lynelle Govender, University of Capetown

In educational research and scholarship, equality, diversity and inclusivity (EDI) are important considerations from study conception, through design, to peer review and publishing. There is no magic bullet to guarantee a successful publication. However, in this workshop, using an EDI-focused lens we will discuss key elements that will certainly help get your work recognised! We will explore how EDI can be embedded during the publication related stages of research – writing, reviewing, revising and publishing. We will discuss participants’ experiences as authors and peer reviewers and explore how publishing and peer reviewing within health professions education research can evolve to be more inclusive and equitable. If you are keen on strengthening your skills as an author and/or peer reviewer, this workshop is for you!

Workshop 3 option A FULL – 15.30 – 16.45
Design Considerations When Researching Your Own Practice

For many clinical educators, exploring questions that arise from our own practice, or considering whether and how our practice is effective, represents an opportunity to delve into the world of educational research. 

Whether you are considering your masters dissertation project, or just wondering how to take the first steps in an educational project of your own, this interactive workshop will explore some of the key considerations when researching your own practice. Through a mix of scenarios, activities and discussion we will consider aligning your objectives, approach and design alongside carving out time for research, being an insider researcher and navigating the required approval processes, managing the workload and planning for dissemination. There will also be opportunities to discuss your own project ideas.  

Workshop 3 option B – 15.30 – 16.45
Designing and Analysing a Quantitative Questionnaire: Alignment and Research Rigour 
Dr Michal Tombs, Cardiff University 

For those who are new to medical education research, the use of a quantitative questionnaire is often the most appealing method for data collection. This may be due to its practical appeal, as it provides a useful solution to researchers who are limited in resources and time. The problem being that without understanding what constitutes rigour and failing to consider issues of alignment, novice researchers may struggle to produce meaningful findings from their data. 

This workshop is designed for newcomers into the world of medical education research.  Issues of questionnaire design will be explored and practical steps in the analysis of data will be considered. This will include descriptive and inferential statistics as well as concepts and methods of examining reliability and validity of questionnaires. 

Workshop 3 option C FULL – 15.30 – 16.45
An Introduction to Realist Interviews

Dr Anna Melvin, Dr Dominic Proctor, and Prof Karen Mattick, University of Exeter

In this workshop we will introduce realist interviews, an increasingly popular approach to evaluation within health professions education. The session will begin with a brief introduction to realist methodology and realist interviews, including the differences from other types of interviews. We will then bring this to life using examples from two realist evaluation projects from the field of medical education – one relating to faculty development and the other support for doctors’ wellbeing and mental health at work (Care Under Pressure 3). The facilitators will provide examples from the two projects and share their experiences of conducting realist interviews. Attendees will then have the opportunity to put the principles of realist interviews into practice by having a go at developing some questions and trying these out. Throughout the session there will be opportunities for questions and discussion, and for attendees to share their own experiences with realist interviews.

Workshop 3 option D – 15.30 – 16.45
Postgraduate Research Exchanges
Dr Lisi Gordon, University of Dundee and ASME ERC members

Across two sessions, 6 postgraduate researchers (i.e. PhD, Professional Doctorate, MD, or MRes students) will present their work in progress for discussion.  Presenters have been asked to reflect on the conference theme of alignment in relation to their projects, and to propose a question they would like to discuss with the audience.  The emphasis of these sessions is on discussion and ideas exchange.  Come along to hear about the latest postgraduate research in health professions education and to support our early career research community!

Workshop 3 option E FULL – 15.30 – 16.45
Where do we start? Developing a global approach to medical education research from conception to dissemination
Dr Agalya Ramanathan and Dr Katie Scott, Imperial College London

There is a lack of diversity in health professions education research with a predominance of Global North voices. This leads to a lack of alignment when the questions we ask and the solutions we seek are global, but the teams we work in and the literature we prioritise are not.

Drawing on our own experiences developing a diverse, international, collaborative research project, we will highlight opportunities and pitfalls researchers may experience and offer the opportunity to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of our approach in a research case study. Participants will discuss their experiences of navigating similar issues.

Participants will be encouraged to think critically about their past research work and creatively about future research ideas, to identify opportunities for a global approach. This will include strategies to incorporate diverse knowledge using global databases, as well as considering alignment at all stages from questions and methodology to dissemination.

Calling for new voices to facilitate workshops at Researching Medical Education (RME) conference 2023

As an initiative to introduce ‘new voices’ to RME, the ASME ERC is delighted to announce that we are inviting workshop proposals from researchers who have not previously presented at an RME Conference. Workshop proposals may relate to any aspect of Health Professions Education research and should be designed for attendees who are at intermediate or advanced levels of research expertise. We encourage that workshops relate to the conference theme of ‘Alignment matters:  from conception to communication’, and welcome facilitators from diverse and under-represented backgrounds.

Review Process

The RME organising committee will select up to two workshops from the proposals submitted.   Selections will be made based on the following criteria:

  • Alignment with conference theme and overall fit within the existing conference programme.
  • Clarity of proposal.
  • Opportunity for interactivity within the workshop.
  • Explanation of how you see yourself as a ‘new voice’

Submission format

  1. Proposed title of workshop.
  2. Facilitator/s – name and affiliation. A maximum of 3 facilitators may run a workshop (at least one should be an ASME institutional or individual member).
  3. Workshop description (150 words).
  4. Objectives/outcomes of the workshop (indicate knowledge, attitudes and/or skills that participants should gain).
  5. Educational methods/interactive learning methods that will be used to encourage participation and learning (please list).

Submissions are final on receipt. No amendments will be permitted to your session descriptor and facilitator details after submission.

Please email your proposal to The deadline for submissions is 4th August, 2023.

Conditions if your workshop is accepted

  • All workshop facilitators must register by the registration deadline in order to guarantee inclusion in the programme.
  • Only one facilitator will have their conference registration fee funded by ASME. Additional facilitators will be required to pay the conference registration fee.
  • The submitter must be the workshop lead facilitator.
  • You should be prepared to present your workshop at any time during the conference, we cannot guarantee a specific presentation time.
  • Your workshop should last a maximum of 75 minutes and standard workshop facilities will be provided (laptop, projector, flipchart and pens).

ASME ERC are very keen to support and encourage our excellent early career HPE research community to share their ongoing work. With this in mind, we are inviting those who are undertaking postgraduate research studies, at any stage, (e.g., PhD, Professional Doctorate, MD, MRes) to submit an abstract to present their work in progress.  

The abstract that you submit should focus on the theme of the conference “Alignment matters: from conception to communication”, demonstrating how you have integrated and aligned, or plan to integrate and align your choices of theory, research philosophy, and if relevant to stage, methodology and methods (or proposed methodology and methods).

Your abstract should be no more than 300 words long and finish with a question or topic that you would like to discuss with the audience (who will consist of fellow HPE researchers with a range of experiences).

Once all abstracts have been received we will then shortlist 6 presenters for our Postgraduate Researcher Exchange Sessions, which will form part of RME (those not selected will be given the option to present a poster at RME). The emphasis of these sessions is on discussion and ideas exchange; therefore, you will have 7 minutes for your presentation and 13 minutes will be given over to discussion.

Please send your abstract(s) submission to by Friday 29th September 2023 at 5pm. You will receive notification of whether you have been selected for presentation or poster by Wednesday 11th October, 2023.

ASME and Friends House aim to ensure that RME is accessible and welcoming to all. Guests requiring reasonable adjustments (e.g. wheelchair users/other mobility requirements) are advised to make themselves known to reception on arrival at Friends House. For more information about the venue’s accessibility, please click HERE.

Please click HERE to learn more about ASME’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy.

If you need any help or support for this event, once you have registered please email

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We will be launching Starting Research in Clinical Education at #RME2023, where you will have the opportunity to meet the editors and we will have a limited number of books available to purchase on the day at a discounted price.

The conference will run from 9am – 5pm on Thursday 16th November UK time. Please note that this is an in person event.

Friends House
173 Euston Road

The venue: Friends House

Friends House is committed to sustainability. They want to reduce their impact on the environment while procuring goods and services in an ethical way. Friends House takes action to reduce carbon emissions, cut waste, choose local sourcing and preserve the ecosystem. If you wish to know more about Friends House sustainability policies and achievements, please click HERE.


Friends House use Fairtrade and locally produced seasonal ingredients in their menus where possible.

  • All packaging including bento boxes and lids are fully biodegradable, the same applies to any cutlery, napkins and disposable cups. The catering provider is a “Zero to Landfill” caterer and they ensure that all waste is recycled.
  • They operate a fleet of electric vans to reduce the impact on pollution in London.
  • All meats, fish and produce are sourced from small local suppliers in preference to large national distributors. Wherever possible they use organic ingredients and their minimum is a Red Tractor certification for all meats, MSC approval for all fish/seafood and vegetables sourced from farms in Essex & Kent.
  • They do occasionally use items out of season or from other countries to sustain the integrity of certain dishes but do ensure ethical sourcing including fair trade fruits, tea & coffee.


  • There are excellent public transport links to reach the venue. Please click HERE to see how to get to the venue.
  • There is a safe cycle parking in Friends House courtyard for visitors and staff.

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