The focus of this session will be to: 1) discuss why medical-professionals need to understand research; 2) explore why they need to be competent in this area and 3) begin the discussion of what it is they need to know. Along the way we will spend some time discussing how medical professional trainees might gain the needed research related competencies.
It has become increasingly clear that as medical education in the basic sciences has moved from the use of experiential learning environments such as demonstrations and laboratories the opportunity has waned for students to engage their knowledge to interpret expected and unforeseen results and to puzzle through data cloaked in biological and experimental variability. Furthermore most texts and simulation stimulated learning experiences fail to demonstrate this variability or to emphasize the usefulness and range of statistical evaluations in interpreting data. Further, most modern educational efforts currently require only post hoc hypothesis generation and generally don’t address experimental design or the importance of the full complement of appropriate controls. While “labs” were often laborious, wasteful and inefficient, when they were successful, they provided insights into the nature of biomedical knowledge and how such knowledge is gained. In this session we will consider how the knowledge and skills associated with research can be gained in the emerging educational environment.