Letters to the Editor
To the Editor: I read Cook and West’s1 essay “Reconsidering the focus on ‘outcomes research’ in medical education: A cautionary note” with interest. They raise a series of important points about the futility of often trying to directly link medical education interventions with patient outcomes. They remind us of the complexities of such research and how, methodologically, we would need to work more closely with our health services research colleagues.
However, as research colleagues in other medical science fields are being increasingly challenged to make their research more focused on the bedside, I am concerned that this essay might be seen as giving the opposite message. We, as medical education researchers, must continually challenge each other to demonstrate the potential impact of our work on medical care in order that our research does not become sotheoretical and distant frompatientsthat it is considered irrelevant.
Julian Archer, MD, Med, PhD
NIHR career development fellow, clinical
senior lecturer, and director, Collaboration
for the Advancement of Medical Education
Research and Assessment, Plymouth
University Peninsula Schools of Medicine
and Dentistry, Plymouth, United Kingdom;
1. Cook DA, West CP. Perspective: Reconsidering the focus on “outcomes research” in medical education: A cautionary note. Acad Med. 2013;88:162–167