Each year, the Research in Medical Education (RIME) Program Planning Committee (PPC) has the opportunity to learn from the impressive work being done by colleagues across the world to advance what is known about teaching and learning in medicine. Submissions in response to the annual call for papers and abstracts address questions across the continuum of medical education, creating the RIME portion of this issue and a program that appeals to readers and meeting participants who are interested in better understanding and exploring the context and impact of interventions in undergraduate and graduate medical education, continuing professional development and interprofessional education. Through a rigorous peer-review process that applies well-established criteria1 that define excellence in scholarship,2 the RIME PPC is presented with the challenging task of selecting the scholarly work that is of the highest quality and, thus, can be considered for publication in Academic Medicine and for presentation as a part of the annual RIME program.
This year, the RIME PPC also embraced the prospect of designing innovative presentation formats for the papers and abstracts that received the strongest recommendations through the peer-review process. The RIME articles in this issue and the abstracts that received the highest ratings from reviewers will be presented at the inaugural Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Medical Education Meeting that precedes the 2014 AAMC Annual Meeting. As the Medical Education Meeting Web site notes, the meeting is designed to offer
professionals from across the medical education continuum the opportunity to learn about the latest advancements in the field, connect with thought leaders, network with peers, identify the critical skills they need to advance their careers, and increase the quality of education at their institutions.3
The PPC considered presentation formats that not only ensured effective presentation of research being done by our colleagues but also created sessions that would allow learning to occur as a result of interaction between authors, thought leaders, and attendees at the meeting.
Some of the RIME articles in this issue were grouped for presentation at the meeting with other papers that addressed a similar theme in medical education. The novel “themed research sessions” at the Medical Education Meeting will incorporate participation from authors, a discussant, and the audience. The discussant will share questions related to the papers at the beginning of the session to frame the audience’s thinking during the presentations and to set up the discussion that will follow. After the authors summarize their papers, focusing on the key points of the research, the audience will be asked to discuss the questions in small groups. The discussant, a leader with expertise and experience related to the theme of the session, will provide comments and context, including additional information from the literature to address the questions he or she raised for consideration. The audience will then be invited to engage with the authors and the discussant, enriching the conversation.
Other papers will be presented in a more traditional format. Following each paper presentation, a facilitator will guide interaction between the audience and the author, providing a forum for enhanced understanding for all.
Oral abstract sessions will also be organized in two different formats this year. “Classic” sessions will allow the authors to present their work in serial progression with opportunities for questions and comments from the audience as described for the paper session above. In what we have termed the “original oral abstract sessions,” authors will end their presentation with a question to the audience related to a challenge they encountered in their work or about anticipated next steps to advance their research. A facilitator will document the questions after each presentation on a flip chart so that the subsequent discussion can focus on the audience providing their insights and perspectives to address the questions raised by the authors.
The research abstracts submitted in response to the RIME call that have been selected for presentation as posters at the Medical Education Meeting will be displayed in one of two sessions. These research posters will be presented alongside posters describing educational innovations. The RIME PPC collaborated with the Medical Education Meeting Planning Committee to group research and innovation posters that address related themes to allow meeting participants to survey work being done by colleagues that assesses the context, process, and outcomes of educational interventions across the continuum.
As we hope you will see by reading this foreword, the RIME PPC sought to create a forum for dissemination of scholarly work in an environment that promotes active engagement with the larger community of medical educators.4 The presenters and the participants in the Medical Education Meeting will have the opportunity to learn from and with each other. In doing so, we hope that participants share insights and provide feedback to promote reflective scholarly practice and inspire continued investigations that benefit our learners and, ultimately, the patients with whom they interact.
As always, we are indebted to the dedicated and wonderfully talented AAMC staff. Without them, the committee could not do its work. Kate McOwen, Jada Greene, and Steve McKenzie inspired us to be creative in designing this year’s program and worked tirelessly and with great attention to detail to ensure that we met critical deadlines. In addition, we would like to thank our external peer reviewers. Having been reviewers ourselves, we appreciate firsthand the effort required to provide the evaluations and constructive comments that are invaluable both to the program committee and to the authors. The feedback provided in the detailed reviews is shared with the authors, allowing them to use this information to refine their work for future presentations and publications.
We would also like to thank the incredible educators/educational researchers who make up the RIME PPC. It is truly an honor and a joy to work with these colleagues who care deeply about advancing medical education: Drs. John “Jack” Boulet, Larry Gruppen, Monica Lypson, Kathy Mazur, Lynne Robins, and Dan West.
Last but not least, we would like to thank Dr. David Sklar and the editorial team of Academic Medicine. We are grateful for their continued support of medical educators and for their assistance with the process used by RIME and, importantly, for providing a prestigious venue in which educators can publish their work and contribute to advancing educational scholarship.