Author Affiliations: Departments of Community & Family Medicine (Drs Carney, Pipas, and Stukel), Medicine (Drs Nierenberg and Brooks), and Pharmacology & Toxicology (Dr Nierenberg), Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover and Lebanon, NH; Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario (Dr Stukel); Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Toronto (Dr Stukel); Office of the Vice President and Treasurer, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH (Mr Keller).
Conducting educational research in medical schools is challenging partly
because interventional controlled research designs are difficult to apply.
In addition, strict accreditation requirements and student/faculty concerns
about educational inequality reduce the flexibility needed to plan and execute
educational experiments. Consequently, there is a paucity of rigorous and
generalizable educational research to provide an evidence-guided foundation
to support educational effectiveness. "Educational epidemiology," ie, the
application across the physician education continuum of observational designs
(eg, cross-sectional, longitudinal, cohort, and case-control studies) and
randomized experimental designs (eg, randomized controlled trials, randomized
crossover designs), could revolutionize the conduct of research in medical
education. Furthermore, the creation of a comprehensive national network of
educational epidemiologists could enhance collaboration and the development
of a strong educational research foundation.
Carney PA, Nierenberg DW, Pipas CF, Brooks WB, Stukel TA, Keller AM. Educational EpidemiologyApplying Population-Based Design and Analytic Approaches to Study Medical Education. JAMA. 2004;292(9):1044-1050. doi:10.1001/jama.292.9.1044