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MERC - Strengthing your educational research skills

Posted Oct 29 2009 11:04pm
Educational research traditionally is a "fuzzier" science than clinical and bench research. These studies often have to work around intangible human dynamics and variables. The unique aspects of educational research has led to the development of the Medical Education Research Certification (MERC) program, sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

The MERC curriculum consists of a series of workshops in educational research. This has been slightly adapted by the Council of Residency Directors (CORD) in EM. The entire curriculum consists of 11 key workshops.
  • Getting Started in Medical Education Research/ Formulating Research Questions and Designing Studies
  • Searching and Evaluating the Medical Education Literature
  • Hypothesis-Driven Research
  • Data Management and Basic Statistics in Education Research
  • Reliability and Validity of Educational Outcomes
  • Institutional Research Boards and Ethics
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Scholarly Writing
  • Program Evaluation and Evaluation Research
  • Questionnaire Design and Survey Research
  • Capstone (to end the program)
How can I go beyond a satisfaction survey to determine if my educational intervention translates to improved patient care?


The first two workshops will be held on the Pre-Day (March 2, 2010) of the 2010 CORD Academic Assembly in Orlando, FL. The third workshop (Hypothesis Driven Research) will be held on March 5, 2010 at the same CORD meeting.

I'll be facilitating a small-group session on educational research on the Pre-Day. Small groups will be formed to discuss individual research projects and ideas. My table will specifically focus on studying the educational uses of technology. If you are interested, please come and join! This is a great opportunity to network and hear of other exciting educational research projects at the ground level.
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