2011 marked the 50th annual Research in Medical Education (RIME) program. Since then, RIME has begun its second half-century with significant process changes but a continued dedication to the strong traditions established in its first 50 years. The tradition of identifying and presenting research to enrich discussion and add to the medical education literature was foremost in the minds of the 2012 RIME Program Committee. The committee believes that the 2012 RIME program, represented both by the articles published in this issue of Academic Medicine and by the presentations at this year’s Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) annual meeting, will uphold that strong tradition.
The committee maintained important RIME processes this year, even as we pursued major changes. In 2003, Dr. Louis Pangaro1 described the committee’s decision-making processes, including the complementary roles of the “external” (noncommittee) peer reviews and those done by the committee. This year’s review process followed the same complementary format that Pangaro described, but the committee’s reviews included additional attention to Academic Medicine’s ethical requirements for published articles.2 Peer reviewers are the true backbone of the RIME process. They work hard, they work fast, and they are among some of the most knowledgeable medical educators around. The names of the 2012 RIME peer reviewers will appear in the January issue of Academic Medicine in acknowledgment of the valuable service they provided.
As in past years, committee decisions about individual submissions also had to take into account the very short time allowed for RIME manuscript revisions. We could not include some interesting submissions simply because the recommended revisions could not be managed within the time frame. We hope that the authors of these manuscripts will use the reviewers’ careful feedback to prepare their work for submission elsewhere or perhaps to next year’s RIME program.
We selected this year’s RIME program papers and abstracts from a strong field of submissions. Of 87 research submissions, we selected 15, and we chose one review article from the 10 that were submitted. These research and review articles were accepted for publication in Academic Medicine and are included in this issue. We were delighted to see five symposium proposals this year, two of which are on the conference program. The 2012 RIME program will also present 55 oral research abstracts and 79 research posters, all selected from a total of 228 submitted abstracts. We owe a debt of gratitude to all the authors who submitted their work to RIME this year.
The strong RIME tradition anchored us through this year’s changes and some challenges. The most visible change is the RIME program’s new presence in the October issue of Academic Medicine rather than in a special RIME supplement. Backed by the strong support of Dr. Steven Kanter (the journal’s editor in chief) and the journal’s experienced staff, the committee anticipates that the medical education community will find this to be a highly positive change, well worth continuing.
The dedicated AAMC staff helped authors, reviewers, and committee members navigate a new, Web-based manuscript management and review system. As with any new tool, there were some rough edges and a few surprises, but the staff made things work. Several AAMC staff members also transitioned to new RIME-related responsibilities in the midst of all the other changes. We are indebted to Caroline Coleman’s and Katherine McOwen’s expert support and good-humored grace under fire.
It was my great pleasure to chair this year’s supremely thoughtful, knowledgeable, and fair-minded RIME Program Committee: Drs. Jack Boulet, Dale Dauphinee, Lotte Dyrbye, Mary Ellen Gusic, Eric Holmboe, Sara Kim, Lorelei Lingard, and Diane Wayne. We hope you learn as much from the articles in this issue as we did.