Researching Medical Education is a one-day conference for all those interested in medical or clinical education research as an academic discipline.
The conference is designed and run by the Association for the Study of Medical Education. The day is structured into parallel sessions and led by internationally renowned keynote speakers. There are also keynote seminars and discussion groups, research method workshops for new and more experienced researchers and a master class for those studying for higher degrees. In addition, there are opportunities to network with your peers and those leading the field in medical education research.
The day will be of interest to career researchers, teachers of medical / clinical education research, students studying for Masters or PhDs / EdDs, undergraduate students starting education projects, medical education intercalation or those just keen in gaining a better understanding of educational research.
ASME Members £165
Non Members £215
The 2016 RME conference is being held at
173-177 Euston Rd
By rail: From its position opposite Euston’s rail and tube stations, it is a ten minute walk from King’s Cross Station and St Pancras International Terminus. All major rail terminals are easily reached by tube.
By tube: The nearest tube stations are Euston and Euston Square, which are on the Northern, Victoria, Metropolitan, Circle and Hammersmith & City lines.
By bus: Numbers 10, 18, 30, 73, 205 and 390 pass the door whilst 59, 68, 91, 168, and 253 stop nearby.
By car: Friends House is within a meter parking zone. Charges must be paid Monday to Friday 08:30 - 18:30 and Saturday 09:00 - 13:30. There are alternative, longer-term parking facilities under Euston Station. Please note that Friends House is within the congestion charge zone. For details of how to pay please go to www.cclondon.com
International visits: St Pancras International Terminus is a ten minute walk away. Nearby Paddington Station offers a frequent shuttle service to Heathrow Airport. All London airports are easily reached from Euston
For more information about getting to the site please click here
Below is the list of workshops which are available to attend at RME, you are required to pre-select your workshop when you register. You must select 1 workshop from each session.
How to write a research question
Prof Jeremy Brown & Dr Stevie Agius
This workshop is aimed at colleagues who have as yet limited experience of conducting medical education research and who wish to gain a greater insight into how to develop robust research questions.
A good research question is essential to focus your research so the project is achievable. This means choosing a question that is:
•neither too broad or too narrow,
•actually researchable, and
•passes the "so what" test
The workshop will be interactive. We will introduce a pragmatic but systematic approach to apply to new research ideas to turn them into good research questions. The "raw material" for this workshop will be participants' own research ideas.’
Individual interviewing, group interviews and focus groups
Dr Sarah Yardley, CNWL NHS Foundation Trust
This workshop will provide a beginners introduction and overview of what to consider when deciding on qualitative & mixed methods data generation methods. Similarities and differences in the types of data generated using individual interviews, group interviews and focus groups data will be discussed. Participants are encouraged to bring along examples of research questions that might require one of these methods for the basis of an interactive session about methodological choices and the practicalities of the different methods.
Tim Dornan and Helen Reid
Centre for Medical Education, Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland
Qualitative research is moving from the more or less universal application of thematic analysis and grounded theory to a wider variety of methodologies, which include phenomenology and discourse analysis. Whilst these open up rich possibilities, they require an understanding of underpinning theory, which is daunting. The least often used methodology is critical discourse analysis. This is unsurprising because Foucauldian CDA, with its dense theory, large datasets, and arcane language, dominates the field. At the other extreme, conversation analysis and sociolinguistic approaches require mastery of very specialised procedures to analyse language in fine detail. A discourse methodology developed by JP Gee, with theoretical roots in Bakhtin, has helped us conduct CDA in a way that has much in common with familiar qualitative methodologies. We would like to make discourse principles more familiar by sharing some insights we have learned from our experience.
Total immersion or floating on the surface? Anthropology, ethnography and sociology in medical education research.
Reverend Dr David Taylor, Liverpool.
There are a number of situations where we find ourselves interested in the ways in which people understand the systems in which they work, and how their understanding alters their behaviour.
There are several ways of approaching such research studies, and our individual approaches depend as much upon our preferences and gut instincts as on anything else. But it is possible to think in terms of the best ways to investigate particular problems, and this is what the fields of anthropology, ethnography and sociology can offer us.
In this workshop we will consider the merits and problems of ascribing meaning to what people (often our colleagues) say or do. We will look particularly at ethnography, the way in which it is approached by anthropologists and sociologists, analysing “lived experience” and give a nod to realism (critical or otherwise).
Insider Research- Roles, relationships and rhetoric
For researchers conducting or planning to undertake practitioner or ‘insider’ research in their workplace, be that on campus or in a clinical setting, the dynamics involved and the potential ethical issues are worthy of careful consideration. This workshop will outline what is meant by ‘insider research’, the continuum of ‘insiderness’, the benefits or disadvantages this might bring, and the range of ethical issues involved. The workshop will be interactive in presenting case study examples from the experience of the presenter and others to explore and to debate. Participants will have the opportunity to relate the principles arising from this to their own research.
Researching medical students’ attitudes
Dr Diana Wood
Medical students rarely struggle or fail due to academic difficulties alone. The reasons for their problems are more complex, often including health or attitudinal issues. In this workshop we will review some of the work relating to the effects of stress, burn-out and mental health problems on the development of student attitudes towards clinical practice. This will lead to a discussion of resilience and ways in which research might assist us in designing educational programmes that might help students become more resilient and reflective in their future careers.
Participants are invited to bring ideas for research (however rudimentary!) to the workshop, so that sharing ideas may assist in the creation of research proposals in this field.
Analysing Qualitative Data
Dr Lesley Pugsley, Cardiff University
“Qualitative data are sexy; they are a source of well grounded, rich descriptions and explanations of processes in identifiable local contexts.” (Miles, Huberman, Saldana, 2014:1). As a consequence, perhaps, qualitative research is now an established tradition in Medical Education. However it is sometimes regarded as the soft option, its ‘folk-ways’ merely a common sense approach. This is a complete fallacy, “qualitative research is harder, more stressful and more time consuming than other approaches” (Delamont,2002:ix). Qualitative research generates vast amounts of data, which can appear unwieldy, if not downright overwhelming for the novice researcher. Text books on data analysis often refer to themes ‘emerging’ from data, as though by some mystical means; in reality the process of rigorously interrogating the data in order to ‘make meaning’ and to theorise from it is a deliberate, rigorous and time consuming activity.
This interactive workshop offers a practical, hands on opportunity for individuals to engage with the principles of data analysis and explore the ways in which qualitative data transcripts can be coded. Active involvement with data sets will enable participants to clarify the analysis process and to demonstrate the ways in which thematic codes and theoretical concepts can be generated from the data. It will prove useful to those new to qualitative research and those whose explorations into the qualitative world are still at an early stage.
How to design a questionnaire
Dr Susan Jamieson, University of Glasgow
The apparent ease and simplicity of constructing a questionnaire is possibly one reason for its appeal as a research tool. But there is more to designing questionnaires than meets the eye! This beginners' workshop will raise awareness of issues to be considered in questionnaire construction, such as questionnaire and question format, response scales, and validation.
Secondary analysis of data and using routinely collected data
Dr Axel Kaehne, EHU and Alder Hey NHS Foundation Trust
Research councils strongly encourage researchers to utilise existing data sets in their research. Using data sets that have been created for other purposes than the research study however often present researchers with specific challenges.
The workshop will outline the most significant challenges and issues when using existing data sets or routinely collected data. It will introduce participants to ways of addressing issues when utilising existing data sets, chart some of the strategies to manipulate data to achieve pre-defined study aims and illustrate practice with examples from actual studies using a quantitative approach.
Gain an overview of the challenges and issues when dealing with existing data sets
Introduce participants to strategies to address difficulties
Outline ways to manipulate data sets to achieve pre-defined study objectives
Prof John Sandars
Prof Jeremy Brown
Action research has a long tradition of use in educational research but is less commonly used in medical education research. The workshop will provide an opportunity for participants to explore the philosophical and practical aspects of action research, including the action research cycle and the different uses of action research, which range from curriculum development to reflective practice. There will be an opportunity to develop an outline action research project and to critically appraise an action research proposal
A beginner’s guide to peer reviewing health education systematic
review: A Best Evidence Medical Education (BEME) Collaboration workshop
Dr Morris Gordon
BEME supports synthesis of evidence to inform teaching with BEME reviews, which are frequently cited after publication. Collaboration in peer-reviewing is taken as an indicator of scholarship in medical education. As is common in systematic reviews. Many health education systematic review reports are limited by a lack of clarity in stated goals or a mismatch between the actual aims and outcomes. Often the issues at hand are related to limitations of writing and can be addressed through thorough peer review with appropriate feedback.
BEME has built a scholarly process to support this crucial and early stage of systematic review in education. In this workshop, we will support participants in developing skills in peer review and offer the chance to join the BEME peer review panel.
The workshop will start by a short introduction to the stages of the BEME review process. Participants will review a sample of backgrounds and conclusions from actual BEME reviews, with a whole group debrief to identify key areas of focus when reviewing such works (with tools introduced to support this process). Small groups will then work on a section of a review using the BEME review checklist. Finally, participants will be offered the chance to join the BEME peer review panel.
Please see the above 'Masterclass' tab for more info
How to get your papers published in different types of journals
Professor Peter Cantillon, Professor of Primary Care, NUI Galway, Ireland
Professor Val Wass OBE, Editor of Education for Primary Care
Whether you are an experienced author of published papers or a medical educator wanting to see your name on an author list for the first time, this workshop is intended to help you have a more productive and enjoyable experience in successfully submitting your work for publication. The aims are to work interactively to explain how the editorial process works, identify what makes a good academic paper, where to send it and how to respond to reviewers.
NIHR Funding Opportunities for Medical Education Research
Dr Helen-Harris-Joseph, NIHR
The workshop will highlight various NIHR funding opportunities for individuals in the field of Medical Education Research. This will include discussions around eligibility, remit and the various schemes available. The interactive workshop will include tips
Realist evaluation' taking evaluation beyond opinion'
Professor John Saunders
Professional education is a complex, contextually bound social process, thus evaluation is a difficult business. While ‘outcome’ orientated evaluation approaches have their place in educational research, trying to ascertain ‘effect’ or if an intervention has ‘worked’ is fraught with practical, ethical and philosophical issues and may only begin to answer some questions while raising many more. Evaluations that focus purely on process can also remain descriptive, sometimes resulting in disjointed lists of themes with little or no consideration of what or how outcomes or outputs may have emerged. There have been calls for evaluation research to also address the ‘how’ and ‘why’ thus enabling the further development of theory linking input, context and outcome / impact (Wong et al 2012). Based in critical realism, which views reality as complex and layered and sees external social reality as influencing behaviour, Realistic Evaluation (RE) attempts to bridge this gap (Pawson 2013). RE proposes an approach which identifies and unpicks elements at play whilst also being an explanation building process. Thus RE aims to systematically explore: what works, for whom and in which circumstances, in what respects and why? Whilst also developing explanatory Context-Mechanism-Outcome configurations and propositions. This interactive workshop will explore the potential of Realistic evaluation (RE) in medical education and offer participants opportunities to engage in thinking about evaluation from an RE perspective, and consider design and implementation issues related to ‘doing’ RE.
Mixed methods medical education research
Dr Simon Watmough, University of Liverpool
This workshop is aimed at colleagues who want to understand how utilising both quantitative methods such as questionnaires and qualitative methods such as focus groups and interviews can give a rounded, fuller picture of any area of medical education research. Participants will learn about the principles of triangulation and validity – important principles in any medical education research. The workshop will also focus on maximising recruitment for a mixed methods research project and examine the steps to ensure using different methods can give relevant results and conclusions.
This will be an interactive workshop and colleagues will see how the evaluation of the Liverpool Medical Curriculum is a good case study of combining mixed methods amongst other relevant examples. Participants will be invited to critically appraise mixed methods whilst looking at the benefits and discussing potential pitfalls. They will also be able to bring with them any ideas they have for undertaking mixed methods research in medical education which can be discussed in the group or with the convenor.
Purpose of Medical Education Research: process, outcomes, impact.
Karen Mattick, Professor of Medical Education, University of Exeter
The words “process, outcomes and impact” are widely used in medical education research, both within the literature and in our workplaces, regardless of whether those workplaces are universities or health services. However the terms are sometimes used uncritically and may mean different things in different contexts. In addition, by emphasising and incentivising certain activities we may (inadvertently) devalue other activities, which can have unintended consequences. In this workshop, we will consider the types of processes, outcomes and impacts that are important within medical education research, from the organisational perspectives of universities and health services, from the perspectives of education research and health services research, and within undergraduate and postgraduate medical education. We will also consider when and how these different perspectives may be problematic or productive for medical education research.
Building a research career
Professor Jennifer Cleland
In order to make it as a researcher, you need to understand the subtle aspects of academic life – how to build a reputation in your field of research, how to make sure that your work is read, recognised, and cited, how to belong to the right networks. The formal, overt rules are clearly stated and easy to notice - for example, money in, papers out, "publish or perish". However, the informal rules and strategies are often harder to grasp - and without a grasp of them you will not be able to play the game successfully. Balancing didactic information, guidance and discussion, this workshop covers key topics such as how to: successfully apply for grants; disseminate your research; build networks and strategic partnerships; and develop a reputation.
The 4 successful submissions have been selected. You can view the abstracts here:
Instructions given to the submitters were:
Are you an early stage education researcher?
The Masterclass will concentrate on issues that arise in the process of conducting research – it is NOT intended to be a typical “show and tell” of completed work. Therefore, applicant submissions to the [email protected] are specifically sought from early stage education researchers, such as PhD students or Masters students aiming to make education research part of their careers. Other new entrants to the field of Medical Education Research are also welcome to submit. Up to six applicants will be selected to participate in the [email protected] on the basis of scholarly quality as demonstrated in their application forms.
A free conference place for RME 2017 will be offered as a prize for the applicant judged to have best engaged in the [email protected] as judged by its distinctive features including willingness to discuss work in progress, including stumbling and difficulties, willingness to share issues and engage in opportunities to learn and to support others. This will be awarded at the end of the day by Jenifer Cleland, Chair of ASME Council.
Advice to applicants:
· Six applicants will be selected to participate in the [email protected] on the basis of scholarly quality as demonstrated in their application forms. Submissions must be received by 5th August by email to [email protected].
· Those selected will be required to register for the RME at the appropriate delegate fee.
· They will be required to prepare a poster (see below for format) for electronic submission to ASME by the 05th October (this will be available to conference delegates and ASME members in advance via the ASME website) and to bring an A0 printed version with them for display from the start of the conference (with attendance by their poster during lunchtime).
· During the 90 minute [email protected] discussion session each applicant will have approximately 3 minutes to introduce their work followed by 7 minutes discussion time. Applicants should use their initial 3 minutes to highlight ‘What I would like to discuss…’ rather than trying to present their whole research project. Posters will be available during the session for reference. The discussion time will be facilitated by experienced education researchers who will draw out themes during presentations that can be further discussed during panel time (see below).
· Following the 6 timed presentations applicants will form a panel chaired by Professor Tim Dornan to discuss issues and themes raised including challenges and opportunities to learn from each other.
· A free conference place for RME 2017 will be offered as a prize for the applicant judged to have best engaged in the [email protected] as judged by its distinctive features including willingness to discuss work in progress, including stumbling and difficulties, willingness to share issues and engage in opportunities to learn and to support others. This will be awarded at the end of the day by Jennifer Cleland, Chair of ASME Council, on the recommendation of the [email protected] Chair and Facilitator.
Jen’s current research programme focuses on three related domains: (i) selection and increasing diversity in medicine, (ii) assessment and predicting performance (iii) exploring the factors involved in careers decision making in today’s doctors. She uses a range of methodological and theoretical approaches to address questions such as: how do sociodemographic variables and selection methods predict selection and performance further along the education and training pathway; what are the barriers to “getting in to” and “getting on” in medicine for particular societal groups, and how can these be addressed; how do medical students and trainees experience different working and learning situations and environments. She is involved in knowledge translation activities designed to enhance understanding of her research interests, working closely with bodies such as the UK’s Medical Schools Council to influence policy and practice in selection and widening access to medicine.
Dr Cleland graduated with Honours Psychology from the University of Stirling, UK, in 1989. She obtained her PhD and MSc from Queen’s University, Belfast, UK, in 1993 and 1994 respectively. She then completed a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, University of Edinburgh in 2000. She balanced clinical work within liaison psychiatry and research with medical programme development and teaching for 10 years before the John Simpson Chair allowed her to focus on educational research. She has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles in healthcare education. She is the lead editor on the book “Researching Medical Education” (Wiley, 2015).
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