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Research in Medical Education – Case Studies 2022

Message from the Chair

The Research Committee of Medical Deans is pleased to publish a second series of case studies of good practice in research in the curriculum in Australia and New Zealand medical schools.

This year we have focused on research programs in rural and regional areas – three of the six case studies illustrate how medical schools are facilitating student research projects in rural and regional communities, and the mutual benefits for students and communities that these programs are producing.

We have also asked our contributors to tell us more about the experience of students and staff participating in schools’ research programs. The feedback included in the stories shows the real impact research in medical education can have on students’ career trajectories. It also illuminates the dedication and passion for research of those supervising and facilitating student research.

Once again, the stories reinforce the importance for students of having first-hand experience of developing, undertaking and completing research projects during their medical degree, and communicating the results of these projects to a wider audience. Every student becomes a better clinician through this experience, and some will become the passionate clinician researchers of the future.We thank all of our contributors for taking the time to describe and share their work, and we hope others will find their stories as interesting and valuable as we do.

Distinguished Professor Annemarie Hennessy AM
Chair, Research Committee
Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand

Introduction

Research training is required in the MD degree to ensure that medical graduates can critically evaluate the vast evidence base published annually, can apply their existing skills in developing new evidence and also, that their MD qualification meets the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Australia (https://www.teqsa.gov.au/latest-news/publications/guidance-note-research-and-research-training).

The case studies selected for this second series represent good practice in the achievement of these goals – through courses and activities connected to the place where they are delivered. Whilst some research skills are generic, and can be applied in many different scenarios, the best way to learn research skills is in the context of meaningful experiences that are transparently relevant to students’ career goals.

The impact of these research programs and projects – vividly expressed in the student and staff reflections included in the case studies – reveals the importance of creative curriculum design when applying educational principles and pedagogy.

We see also, through the cycle of innovative curriculum development, feedback and review, how educators in our medical schools are striving to improve the quality of education in research within their particular learning environment and their financial constraints.

Professor Kathryn Hird & Professor Di Eley
Members, Research Committee
Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand