Over 100 years ago the Flexner Report revolutionised medical education through changes in infrastructure, curricula and pedagogy.1 The 'information age', driven by innovative technologies, methodologies and academic, social and political factors is facilitating the complete re-structure of medical education for the first time since the Flexner Report.2 Learners must be engaged in order to learn – be it through observation, listening, thinking, writing, presenting or doing.
These different approaches to learning have spawned novel learning styles within medicine; with a transition from traditional lectures to problem/case based learning (PBL/CBL), blended learning, flip teaching, peer-to-peer learning, simulation, self-reflection, 360° learning, 'jigsaw' and 'just in time' learning.3
Whilst these innovations in medical education are exciting; few are validated and evidence-based in their implementation in medicine.4 Implementation science was born out of the need to ‘plug' the evidence to practice gap, and provide an evidence-based approach to translating research findings to inform best clinical practice. The same evidence to practice gap exists in medical education.
Established in 2014, the MERQ unit aims to develop and implement systems and methodologies that will translate evidence from pedagogy into practice, incorporating both medical education as well as clinical practice.
1. Flexner A. Medical education in the United States and Canada: a report to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (1910).
Available at: http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/sites/default/files/elibrary/Carnegie_Flexner_Report.pdf
2. Satava R. The Revolution in Medical Education. Journal of Graduate Medical Education. 2009;1:172-175.
3. Bransford J, Brown A, Cocking R. How people learn. Washington DC: National Academy Press; 2013.
4. Ilic D, Maloney S. Methods of teaching medical trainees Evidence Based Medicine: A systematic review. Medical Education 2014;48:124-135.