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Scholarship and Research in Medical Education

graphical word cloud featuring the acronym ACE and the words research, scholarship reliability and questionnaires

  • Medical education scholarship is the catalyst for improving medical education, including the curriculum, teaching and assessment methods, educator development, learning outcomes, and student and educator wellness.
  • The KU School of Medicine Office of Medical Education encourages and supports faculty who wish to engage in Educational scholarships.
  • Our support includes consultation on educational research design and implementation, various quantitative and qualitative methods, IRB issues, text-based and statistical analysis, and manuscript development for residents and faculty.

Several members of the Office of Medical Education encourage and support faculty who wish to engage in educational scholarship.

  • Cayla R.Teal, Ph.D., MA, is the Assistant Dean for Assessment and Evaluation. She is a mixed-methods medical education researcher, an Associate or Deputy Editor for Medical Education Online and Teaching and Learning in Medicine. Currently the chair-elect, Dr. Teal will soon begin her tenure as the national chair for the Medical Education Scholarship, Research and Evaluation section at the AAMC. In addition to conducting her own research, Dr. Teal regularly provides consultations for faculty across the research spectrum from formulating a research question to publishing one's work. She also serves to connect faculty with other researchers who can provide consultation outside her areas of expertise. She works closely with the Academy of Medical Educators and the Office of Faculty Affairs and Development to implement professional development efforts related to the scholarship.
  • Shane Johnston is the Senior Research Analyst. He supports faculty in their educational scholarship efforts in several ways. As a quantitatively trained analyst, Mr. Johnston can provide guidance on the measurement of key variables, survey design, data management, power estimates, and statistical analysis. He is also an "honest broker," serving as an intermediary between the investigator and the data generated through the medical education program, such as test scores and evaluation data. Specifically, when existing educational data are approved for use, Mr. Johnston creates a de-identified dataset that protects the identity of individuals (students, faculty) and creates a crosswalk between the de-identified dataset and the subject's identity. The crosswalk ensures that the identity of research subjects isn't made known to the investigators. Mr. Johnston assists faculty with potential data requests or collection, to ensure they follow the appropriate procedures. Finally, he provides statistical analysis to faculty projects, with priority offered to those with funding.
  • Teresa Beacham, MBA, is the Administrative Officer for the Office of Medical Education. She is the program manager of the Academy of Medical Educators and administrator of two local educational scholarship grants programs (i.e., the AME Medical Education Innovations Mentored Grant Program and the Medical Alumni Innovative Teaching Fund Awards). She provides faculty guidance about applying for these grant programs.
  • Studies that involve KU SOM students and/or teaching faculty as study subjects or analysis of existing educational data related to KU students (or faculty) require the approval of the Office of Medical Education and/or the Office of Student Affairs prior to starting your project.
  • This flow chart indicates the processes necessary to obtain support for your project, depending on what kind of data is being utilized.
  • Three kinds of projects exist:
    • Projects that utilize only existing data
    • Projects that will collect and use only new data
    • Projects that use a combination of existing and newly collected data
  • The Data Use or Collection Request Form should be used to request support for your project.
  • Relevant policies:
  • IRB approval is a separate process and may also be required.
  • For research conducted within existing programs or using existing data, we strongly encourage faculty to partner with a member of the Office of Medical Education or the Office of Student Affairs. These partners can provide historical perspective on the curriculum and existing data as well as facilitate support of others involved in the curriculum or program.
  • If you have questions, please reach out to Cayla Teal at or Shane Johnston at

Two main types of data are maintained by the KU School of Medicine: (1) student performance data and (2) evaluations of courses, students and faculty collected through questionnaires collected locally or by the AAMC (e.g. AMCAS med school application, Y2TQ and GQ). Table 1 summarizes common student performance measures and when they are collected. Table 2 summarizes the questionnaires.

Table 1: Performance Measures

Student Performance Measure Year M1 Year M2 Year M3 Year M4
Block MC Exam Scores X X    
Block CSE Exam Scores X X    
End of Year 1 OSCE X      
End of Year 2 OSCE   X    
Clinical Skills Assessment (CSA, end of Year 3)     X  
CBSE Score X X    
Step Scores     X X
Clerkship Grades     X  
Clerkship grades and NBME Subject Exam scores     X  
Clerkship Clinical Standardized Measure Grades (i.e. OSCEs, Oral Exams, SPE's)     X  
Clinical Performance Assessments     X X
Logged Student experiences (Jaylog)     X  

Table 2: Evaluation Measures

Topic Timing Questionnaire Name Year M1 Year M2 Year M3 Year M4 PGY
Block Quality: Satisfaction with Teaching methods, PBL, CBCL, Anatomy lab, Simulation Session, Assessment Methods, Overall By course ACE Block Evaluation X X      
Instruction Quality: Communication, enthusiasm, overall By course ACE Instructor-Facilitator Evaluation X X      
Instruction Quality: strengths, weaknesses as facilitator By course ACE PBL Facilitator Evaluation X X      
Instruction Quality: Encouragement, monitoring, and support By course CBCL Facilitator Evaluation X X      
Student Performance: Attendance, preparedness, participation; performance by competency (PRO, MK, ICS) By course CBCL Evaluation - Competencies X X      
PBL Quality: Complexity, length, pacing of case By course Faculty Evaluation of PBL X X      
Student Performance: Preparedness, clinical reasoning, communication, knowledge and skills By course ACE PBL Evaluation - Competencies          
Course Quality: Satisfaction By course Enrichment Week Activity Evaluation X X      
Course Quality: Satisfaction with feedback, patient experiences, teaching; were you observed taking a history? A physical exam? By course ACE Y3 Clerkship Evaluation     X    
Course Quality: Satisfaction with feedback, patient experiences, teaching By course ACE Y4 Clinical Course Evaluation       X  
Instruction Quality: Professionalism, feedback and teaching skills By course Resident/ Faculty Evaluation     X X  
Instruction Quality: Encouragement, monitoring, and support By course ACE Coach Evaluation X X      
Curriculum Quality: Satisfaction with facilities/ technology resources, medical education program, student services, learning environment; student well-being, mistreatment; residency interview process (M4's only) End AY M1 - M4 Learning Environment S21 X X X X  
Curriculum Quality: learning environment End AY Educational Climate Inventory   X      
Resident Preparedness: Fund of knowledge, procedural skills, interpersonal skills End AY PGY-1         X
Faculty Perceptions: Student preparedness, overall impression of curriculum and environment, cohort comparisons, self-report well-being End AY Faculty Impressions X X X X  
Student Preparedness: Preparedness by PCRS competency Beg AY Preparation for Clerkships - M3 - R1     X    
Student Preparedness: Quality of preparation by block, Ziel, and SER experiences; Preparedness to perform 30+ skills / abilities (i.e. "Head and neck exam") Mid AY Year 3 Clerkship Preparation - Students     X    
Career preferences: confidence level for specialty choice preferences; importance of 25+ factors on choice Beg AY (M1, M4); End AY (M2) Career Choice X X   X  
Empathy Beg AY (M1, M4); End AY (M2) Jefferson X X   X  
Curriculum Quality: Educational environment, personal characteristics, career plans and interests, well-being End AY AAMC Y2Q   X      
Curriculum Quality: Clinical education quality - curriculum and teaching, educational environment, personal characteristics, well-being, career plans, Administration & student services, Mistreatment, Finances End AY AAMC GQ       X  
Value of societies: Environment, student communication, interaction End AY Medical Alumni Societies Evaluation (ACE) X X X X  
Value of societies: Environment, coach/ faculty communication, interaction End AY Medical Alumni Societies Evaluation (AD/Director) X X X X  
Student clinical performance: logging and professionalism By course Mid Clerkship Student Feedback     X    
Student clinical performance: by graduation competency By course ACE Clinical Performance Assessment (CPA) M3 - M4     X X  
Student performance: Demographics, Pre-med academic performance Beg AY Med School Application (AMCAS ) X        
Curriculum quality: Satisfaction with student - faculty - administration relationships, educational programs, learning environment, facilities, resources, student services, medical education program Mid AY Independent Student Analysis 3 X X X X  
Student performance: Expectations for Step 1 and clerkships End AY AD Step1 - Clerkship Ratings   X      
Instruction Quality: Student support, development and communication Varies ACE Assistant Director Self-Evaluation X X      

Local KU SOM programs

  1. "MERC at KU": the Medical Education Research Certificate program
    • The Office of Medical Education, the Academy of Medical Educators and the Office of Faculty Affairs and Development are partnering to bring a national Medical Education Research Certificate (MERC) program to KU. The MERC program, created and offered by the AAMC, is a series of sessions designed for medical educators (e.g., clinicians, foundational scientists, etc.) with less experience in conducting educational research. The sessions are facilitated by national experts in several key areas. You can learn more about MERC on their website.
    • KU will offer eight sessions in 2020-2021. Faculty who complete six of the sessions are eligible for a MERC certificate. The MERC program has benefits for KU's promotion and tenure process. Sessions will be limited to 25 faculty, with prior signup required to participate.
    • We will supplement "MERC at KU" with local consultations from KU faculty who have experience in research, especially educational research. MERC participants who would like a consultation about a specific aspect of a research project should contact Dr. Cayla Teal. She will connect the requesting faculty with appropriate consultants. Note that consultants are not mentors but individuals who can help with specific questions.
  2. Archie R. Dykes Library offers research guides and consultations with the health science librarians to help faculty with finding and evaluating existing literature, using citation management software, evaluating internet resources and conducting a systematic review.
  3. The Office of Medical Education has partnered with the library to create an online guide for every phase of the research process, that is available in the Research Guides section of the library. These include information about getting started on a research project, research methodologies, and dissemination of project results.
  4. The Office of Faculty Affairs and Development offers periodic sessions related to medical education scholarship in addition to regular sessions on scholarly teaching.

Societies and Conferences

  1. International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE) is a professional organization for medical science educators. It offers annual meetings and other webinars for faculty development, research and travel grants, and is the home for Medical Science Educator.
  2. The Association for Medical Educators in Europe (AMEE) is a worldwide organization promoting excellence in health professions education across undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing education. It offers an annual conference, research grants, the BEME reviews and AMEE guides, and publishes Medical Teacher and MedEdPublish.
  3. American Association of Medical Colleges is the premier national organization for academic medicine with mission areas including medical education, medical research, patient care and diversity and inclusion. It publishes Academic Medicine.
  4. The Generalists in Medical Education (TGME) is a multi-disciplinary group of educators interested in medical education. It's annual meeting is typically held right before AAMC's LSL.

Online Resources

The Office of Medical Education has partnered with the Library to create an online guide for every phase of the research process, that is available in the Research Guides section of the library. These include information about getting started on a research project, research methodologies, and dissemination of project results.

KU School of Medicine

University of Kansas Medical Center
KU School of Medicine Office of Medical Education
Mailstop 1049
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Kansas City KS 66160
Phone: 913-588-7200
Fax: 913-588-7235