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February 27, 2013

Medical Education Theme Issue 2013Call for Papers

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Dr Golub (robert.golub@jamanetwork.org) is Deputy Editor, JAMA.

JAMA. 2013;309(8):829. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.470

Education costs money, but then so does ignorance.—Sir Claus Moser

Medical education is expensive. In contrast to other items of great cost, arguments against its necessity and importance are unlikely. Nevertheless, the value of current educational approaches can be questioned, whether on a large scale such as the length of medical training1 or on a more intimate scale such as length of attending physician inpatient rotations.2

Ignorance about how best to deliver medical education may not only cost dollars in lost efficiency in training, but may produce physicians who are not able to provide optimal medical care for their patients. The best hope for reducing such ignorance is high-quality research in medical education. To be done well, such research also costs money; the strongest research in medical education has had substantial funding.3,4 But the large gaps in knowledge about medical education (related in part to limited research training, resources, and funding) are certainly costing money too.

JAMA continues its ongoing commitment to promoting the best in this area of research by publishing the next theme issue on medical education in December 2013. We invite authors to submit manuscripts related to all aspects of the educational process. Recognizing the steady improvement and sophistication in the quality of medical education research study design and execution,5 we are particularly seeking studies that either incorporate the most relevant educational outcomes (effects on clinical practice and patient care, rather than measures of knowledge, skills, or attitudes), or address better techniques for their measure. While all study designs will be considered, preference will be given to studies that include large sample sizes and multiple study sites and are either randomized trials or well-controlled and generalizable observational studies.

Articles in past Medical Education theme issues have addressed the inpatient teaching structure; evaluating the medical school admissions process; education in evidence-based medicine; use of technology in education; the use of social media, the Internet, and professional behavior; the presence of unconscious biases in faculty and trainees; the relationship between education and medical decision making; the effects of stress on trainees and clinicians; career choices and the physician workforce; methods, quality, and funding of medical education research; effects of communication skills; teaching quality improvement; diversity in medical education; changes in resident work hours and patient mortality, patient safety, and physician health; and inaccuracy of physician self-assessment.

While these topics remain of interest for the 2013 Medical Education theme issue, other potential topics include (but are not limited to) models for funding of undergraduate and graduate medical education, measurement of core competencies, continuing professional development, physician reentry programs, the appropriate use of medical literature, the roles of the humanities in educating students, and the use of interdisciplinary approaches to learning. Given the role of educator that is played by all physicians, we are also interested in studies of the effectiveness of training physicians to be teachers, or residents as teachers, if these studies are conducted with methodological rigor and include important objective outcome measures.

We will consider all original research papers, systematic reviews, and scholarly Viewpoints addressing medical education, including randomized trials, high-quality observational studies, evidence-based reviews, and presentation of novel methods. The effects of medical education at the student, physician, patient, and societal levels are all appropriate for consideration. As with all research published in JAMA, we are seeking studies that meet the highest standards for validity and generalizability

Manuscripts received by May 15, 2013, will have the best chance for consideration for publication in the Medical Education theme issue. All submitted manuscripts will undergo JAMA 's usual rigorous editorial evaluation and review. Authors should consult the JAMA Instructions for Authors6 for guidelines on manuscript submission and preparation.

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Article Information

Published Online: February 4, 2013. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.470

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: The author has completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest and none were reported.

Editorials represent the opinions of the authors and JAMA and not those of the American Medical Association.

Emanuel EJ, Fuchs VR. Shortening medical training by 30%.  JAMA. 2012;307(11):1143-1144PubMedArticle
Lucas BP, Trick WE, Evans AT,  et al.  Effects of 2- vs 4-week attending physician inpatient rotations on unplanned patient revisits, evaluations by trainees, and attending physician burnout: a randomized trial.  JAMA. 2012;308(21):2199-2207PubMedArticle
Reed DA, Kern DE, Levine RB, Wright SM. Costs and funding for published medical education research.  JAMA. 2005;294(9):1052-1057PubMedArticle
Reed DA, Cook DA, Beckman TJ, Levine RB, Kern DE, Wright SM. Association between funding and quality of published medical education research.  JAMA. 2007;298(9):1002-1009PubMedArticle
Golub RM. The empiricists strike back: medical education 2012.  JAMA. 2012;308(21):2254-2256PubMedArticle
 JAMA instructions for authors. http://jama.jamanetwork.com/public/instructionsForAuthors.aspx. Accessed January 13, 2013