2013 Winter: Research Literacy for Health-Professions Students: Promoting Competence in Assessing Evidence-Based Medicine

The expectation that the practice of medicine be evidence-based compels medical educators to effectively incorporate research education into health sciences curricula. With standards of care in a constant state of flux, it is imperative that health science professionals have the ability to competently interpret the quality of evidence in medical research publications. Educators must effectively and efficiently teach content and lay a foundation of critical thinking skills sufficient to support research literacy. This past summer the Medical Science Educator devoted a special issue to this topic. This series will expand upon issues addressed in the journal and showcase schools that have developed curricular innovations to promote research literacy among their students.

Back to Archives

January 10, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Research Literacy: The What and Why

Presenter: William Galey

William GaleyWilliam (Bill) Galey is Director of Graduate and Medical Education Programs at Howard Hughes Medical Institute. As such he is responsible for all of HHMI’s programs to enhance graduate biomedical science education and scientific training of medical trainees. Bill directs efforts to enhance the development of future physician-scientists through the HHMI Research Fellowships for Medical Students Program, and HHMI’s Physician Scientist Early Career Award Program. He was intimately involved in conceiving and developing the HHMI-AAMC partnership known as Scientific Foundations of Future Physicians which focused on defining the scientific competencies needed by graduating physicians. Recently Bill’s group developed a program to support exceptionally talented foreign students pursuing biomedically-related Ph.D. degrees at US institutions through a program known as HHMI International Student Research Fellowships. During his tenure at HHMI the institute has created two programs known as the Interfaces Initiative and the Med into Grad Initiative to enhance the training of Ph.Ds. at the border between biological sciences and physical sciences and biology and medicine respectively.

Dr Galey, holds a PhD from the University of Oregon Medical School, and was a fellow of Harvard University. After a period in the pharmaceutical industry, he joined the University of New Mexico School of Medicine where he conducted research in cellular and gastrointestinal physiology; taught physiology to medical, graduate and allied health students; and held various administrative positions including Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Interim Dean for Research before retiring in 2002 to take his current position.

As an educator Bill has been involved in the development and dissemination of problem-based learning in medical education, the use of inquiry-based learning by primary and secondary school teachers and has directed PhD and MD/PhD programs in the biomedical sciences. He has also been active in professional organizations to improve science education and has been associated with IAMSE activities for many years.

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.

Seminar Archive
January 24, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Research Perceptions in Osteopathic Medical Education

Presenter: Grace Brannan

Grace BrannanDr. Grace Brannan is a Sensory Scientist/Statistician with 20 years of industry and academic research, teaching and grant writing experience. Her expertise is in the areas of sensory science, qualitative and quantitative population-based, behavioral, and public health research studies, quality improvement, design of experiments, and statistics. She held a variety of technical consulting and management positions prior to joining the Centers for Osteopathic Research and Education (CORE) at Ohio University, in 2006. She has co-authored numerous peer-reviewed publications and has co-authored a book on statistically-based quality measures.

Dr. Brannan has been an associate member of the prestigious International Academy of Quality since 2007 and has conducted many research, sensory, and statistical trainings globally. In her current position as CORE Research Executive Director she advises physicians, residents, and medical students on research methodology and design and statistics. She holds a bachelors degree from the University of the Philippines, a Master of Science degree from the University of Georgia, and a Doctorate degree from Kansas State University.

Evidence-based medical practice demands that physicians acquire proficiency in research methods.

In this session we will discuss research perceptions of osteopathic medical students, interns, and residents.

Topics highlighted in this session will be:

  1. Development of a research perception tool.
  2. Key domains identified as influencing research perceptions.
  3. Impact of perceptions study in curriculum and experiences in research education at our institution.
Seminar Archive
January 31, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Curriculum Design to Promote Research Literacy

Presenter: Heather Zwickey

Heather ZwickeyHeather Zwickey, PhD, Dean of Research at the National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM), director of Helfgott Research Institute, and Professor of Immunology, trained at the world renowned National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver. She received a Ph.D. in Immunology and Microbiology from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Dr. Zwickey went on to complete a postdoctoral fellowship at Yale University, where she taught in the first year medical curriculum for 3 years.

Dr. Zwickey is a popular instructor at NCNM and has won several teaching awards. She is currently principal investigator on an NIH grant to increase Evidence Based Medicine in the curriculum at NCNM. As such, she has worked with faculty to integrate a longitudinal research literacy curriculum into basic science and clinical courses. Recently, Dr. Zwickey launched a Master of Science in Integrative Medicine Research degree at NCNM. This accredited program teaches students how to conduct clinical research in natural medicine.

The cornerstone of evidence based medicine (EBM) training is student research literacy. In this foundational step, students learn to become consumers of research with a broad understanding of how to access, evaluate, and communicate about research literature with fellow practitioners and patients. As students’ progress to become evidence informed clinicians, they learn to weigh and apply research in their clinical practice. Recognizing the value of research literacy in medical curriculum, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded several institutions to develop a curriculum that promoted research literacy and EBM.

Competency based educational strategies guides EBM curriculum development. This webinar will review the competencies and teaching strategies developed and implemented to enhance research literacy at the National College of Natural Medicine, as well as other institutions funded by the NIH to develop research curriculum. These strategies involved development of learning objectives to guide both curriculum development and assessment, examples of faculty driven learning activities, and longitudinal curricula initiatives to encourage skill reinforcement. Classroom and clinical teaching strategies, instructional methods, and pedagogical approaches will be shared. Institutional challenges encountered and lessons learned in implementing the programs will also be discussed.

Seminar Archive
February 7, 2013 at 12:00 pm

The Medical Graduate as Scientist and Scholar: A UK Perspective

Presenter: Shelby S. Webster

Shelby S. WebsterShelby Webster, MA MRCP DipMedEd, is a gastroenterologist in London, United Kingdom and is studying for a Masters in Medical Education at University of Dundee, United Kingdom. She is a medical science graduate of University of Cambridge, United Kingdom and a clinical graduate of Oxford University, United Kingdom. She has particular interest in researching factors that influence behaviour and professionalism in the clinical workplace. She was awarded a Fellowship in Medical Education by the London Deanery to quality assure and deliver training for new medical graduates at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London. During her Fellowship she developed a forum for research enthusiasts at all levels to meet and share good practice. She is interested in the various ways of integrating research skills and the spirit of enquiry into the medical undergraduate curriculum and beyond.

In the United Kingdom, declining research and academic activity amongst clinicians has been highlighted by the Walport report in 2005. Since then, several strategies have been implemented at different stages of clinical training and career progression in order to address this. Furthermore, the main regulator for medical training in the United Kingdom, the General Medical Council, has emphasised learning outcomes for the UK medical graduate relating to scientific and academic excellence.

This session will have three main themes.

Firstly, it will present the challenges confronted by curriculum designers at undergraduate level of meeting academic research and scientific outcomes in the United Kingdom. Secondly, it will outline the different pathways available for medical students and junior doctors in the United Kingdom to acquire research skills and aptitude. These pathways include elective modules called student selected components; and integrated academic degrees.

Thirdly, the session will describe how curricula can be successfully developed to incorporate research skills training using Harden’s 10 step approach. This helpful framework deconstructs the main considerations of curricular development including mapping of content to aims and objectives, faculty and student communication and the adoption of appropriate teaching strategies.

Seminar Archive
February 14, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Teaching Scientific Research Skills in an Elective Curriculum: Obstacles, Opportunities and Outcomes

Presenter: Ingrid Bahner

Ingrid BahnerIngrid Bahner, PhD is an Associate Professor of Molecular Medicine at the University of South Florida, Morsani College of Medicine (MCOM).

Ingrid Bahner received her PhD in Microbiology from the University of Southern California, where she subsequently taught in the first and second year curriculum at the Keck School of Medicine and conducted translational research on gene therapy for HIV infection and melanoma.

In addition to being a Course Director in the pre-clerkship curriculum at the MCOM, Dr. Bahner is currently the Associate Director of the Scholarly Concentration Program and the Leader of the Scholarly Concentration in Biomedical Research. Dr. Bahner is also directing the effort to return to the basic sciences from a clinical perspective in the clerkship curriculum. She is furthermore the Director of the IMS Program, a Master’s Degree program designed to prepare economically and/or educationally disadvantaged students for admission to medical school with the goal to enhance medical education through a highly diverse student body.

Her educational research interest is to study what fosters scholarship in medical students including the impact of biomedical research and scientific inquiry based curricula.

This presentation will highlight our experiences teaching scientific research skills within the elective Scholarly Concentration in Biomedical Research at the USF Morsani College of Medicine. This Scholarly Concentration is part of our overarching Scholarly Concentration Program, an elective opportunity for our students to develop an independent scholarly product. The presentation will start with a brief program description and then focuses on the goals of the Biomedical Research Concentration regarding teaching scientific research skills. We will stress the specific challenges we have encountered developing this concentration and our experiences trying to address them, describing in some detail some of the more recently implemented measures. One of the major challenges to be discussed is achieving sustained student commitment to the concentration throughout all four years of medical school. In this regard we will discuss our new senior student mentorship program. We will further discuss how this elective inquiry-based curriculum influences the required core pre-clerkship curriculum The presentation will conclude with preliminary data attempting to measure the impact of this scientific-inquiry based curriculum on continued scholarship in the practice of medicine.

Seminar Archive