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Purpose

The Medical Education Research Certificate (MERC) program is intended to provide the knowledge necessary to understand the purposes and processes of medical education research, to become informed consumers of the medical education research literature, and to be effective collaborators in medical education research. Alone, MERC is not intended to produce independent medical education researchers.

The program is open to all who are interested in improving their educational research skills and is targeted for those with a background in medical education but relatively less experience in conducting educational research. The courses are targeted for clinicians and other educators who desire to learn research skills that will enable collaborative participation in medical education research projects.


Curriculum

Each three hour workshop focuses on a key skill or area in educational research, emphasizes opportunities for hands-on activities and active participation, so as to maximize the applicability of the workshop principles. Six workshops of the participant's choosing must be completed to qualify for the certificate. These can be taken in any order. See workshop descriptions.


Registration and Fees

Those interested in receiving a MERC Certificate must complete six (6) workshops. In order to receive a MERC Certificate you must first complete six (6) workshops. Upon completion you then have to register for the MERC Certificate Program and pay an additional fee of $100.

Registration for MERC workshops hosted by the AAMC and its regional divisions take place through the AAMC. MERC workshops hosted by medical schools and other societies or organizations will offer registration through their own meeting registration system. Every effort will be made to find space for MERC Certificate registrants in MERC workshops, but no guarantees can be made. Slots available to MERC registrants may be limited for workshops sponsored by some societies or organizations.

AAMC sponsored MERC workshops registration deadline is one week prior to the workshop date.


Cancellation Policy

The fee for an individual workshop will be refundable up to two weeks prior to the scheduled meeting. Cancellation after that point will forfeit the registration fee. If there are fewer than 8 people registered for the MERC workshop by the deadline, the workshop will be cancelled. You will be notified and your money refunded.


MERC Contacts

Judy A. Shea, Ph.D.
Associate Dean, Medical Education Research
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
sheaja@mail.med.upenn.edu


AAMC Staff

Nesha Brown
Senior Program Specialist, Educational Affairs
merc@aamc.org


FAQ for Hosting MERC Workshops

Interested in having workshops hosted at your organization?

Please see the documents below for more information about hosting MERC workshops at your organization. Both AAMC and non-AAMC member institutions are eligible to host MERC workshops.

AAMC Member Institution MERC workshop Request
Hosting workshops at AAMC member institutions 
Request form 

Non-AAMC Member MERC workshop Request
Hosting at non-AAMC member institutions 
Request form 

Contact

Nesha Brown
Senior Program Specialist, Educational Affairs
Email: merc@aamc.org


Current MERC Faculty

Jean M. Bailey, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor/ Assistant Dean of Faculty Development
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine
jean.bailey@vcuhealth.org

S. Beth Bierer, Ph.D., MEd
Director of Assessment and Evaluation
Associate Professor of Medicine
Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of CWRU
biererb@ccf.org

Sheila Chauvin, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Medical Education Development and Research
Louisiana State University School of Medicine - New Orleans
schauv@lsuhsc.edu

David Cook, M.D., MHPE
Professor of Medicine and Medical Education
Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
cook.david33@mayo.edu

Sonia Crandall, Ph.D., M.S.
Department of Physician Assistant Studies
Wake Forest University School of Medicine
crandall@wakehealth.edu

Ann Frye, Ph.D., M.Ed.
Assistant Dean for Educational Development
University of Texas Medical Branch (Retired)
annfrye@sbcglobal.net

Cha Chi Fung, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Vice Chair of Medical Education
Assistant Dean of Educational Affairs
Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California
chachi.fung@med.usc.edu

Larry Gruppen, Ph.D.
Professor of Medical Education
Department of Learning and Health Sciences
University of Michigan Medical School
lgruppen@umich.edu

Gretchen Guiton, Ph.D.
Director of Evaluation
University of Colorado School of Medicine
gretchen.guiton@ucdenver.edu

Janet Hafler, Ed.D.
Associate Dean for Educational Scholarship
Yale School of Medicine
janet.hafler@yale.edu

Carol Hodgson, Ph.D., M.S.
Associate Professor, Pediatrics
J. Alan Gilbert Chair in Medical Education Research
Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Alberta
carol.hodgson@ualberta.ca

Kathryn Huggett, Ph.D.
Director of the Teaching Academy
Assistant Dean; Professor
University of Vermont College of Medicine
kathryn.huggett@med.uvm.edu

Kathy Kreutzer, M.Ed.
Assistant Dean for Faculty Development (Retired)
Office of Faculty Affairs
Virginia Commonwealth School of Medicine
kkreutzer@vcu.edu

Stephen Loftus, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
loftus@oakland.edu

Brian Mavis, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Medical Education Research and Development
Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
mavis@msu.edu

Elza Mylona, Ph.D., M.S.
Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs and Professional Development
Eastern Virginia Medical School
mylonae@evms.edu

Karen Richardson-Nassif, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, Department of Family Medicine
University of Vermont College of Medicine
karen.richardson-nassif@uvm.edu

Bridget O'Brien, Ph.D.
University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine
bridget.obrien@ucsf.edu

Patricia O'Sullivan, Ed.D.
Director, Research and Development in Medical Education
University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine
patricia.osullivan@ucsf.edu

Linda Perkowski, Ph.D., M.S.
Senior Associate Dean for Faculty/Administration
College of Medicine Central Michigan University
perko1lc@cmich.edu

Janet Riddle, M.D.
Director of Faculty Development
University of Illinois Chicago College of Medicine
jriddle@uic.edu

Judy Shea, Ph.D.
Associate Dean, Medical Education Research
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
sheaj@mail.med.upenn.edu

Arianne Teherani, Ph.D.
Director, Program Evaluation
University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine
teherani@medsch.ucsf.edu

Britta Thompson, Ph.D.
Co-Director, Office for Scholarship in Learning and Education Research
Penn State College of Medicine
bthompson@hmc.psu.edu

Paul Wimmers, Ph.D.
Associate Director for Research
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
pwimmers@mednet.ucla.edu

Majka Woods, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean for Educational Development
Director, Office of Educational Development
University of Texas Medical Branch
majwoods@utmb.edu

Cayla Teal, Ph.D., M.A.
Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs
Texas A&M Health Science Center
teal@medicine.tamhsc.edu

Peggy Weissinger, Ed.D.
Director, GUMC Teaching Academy in the Health Professions
Associate Director, Center for Innovation and Teaching in Education (CENTILE)
Georgetown University Medical Center &
Associate Dean for Educational Scholarship
Georgetown University School of Medicine
paw33@georgetown.edu



MERC Steering Committee

The MERC Steering Committee sets the agenda for the MERC program and provides overall guidance to AAMC staff about the conduct and direction of the MERC program.

Committee members provide advice about:

  • The vision for and general direction of the MERC program
  • Program content
  • Faculty participants
  • Sustainability (business models)

Committee members are expected to attend scheduled meetings that occur once each year. In addition, participation in conference calls is expected. Committee members are nominated by their GEA regions. Committee members serve staggered two year terms and this includes the option for a one year renewal.

Chair
Judy A. Shea, Ph.D.
Associate Dean, Medical Education Research
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
sheaja@mail.med.upenn.edu

Past-Chair
Kathryn Huggett, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean; Professor
Director of the Teaching Academy
University of Vermont College of Medicine
kathryn.huggett@med.uvm.edu

Members     
Anthony R. Artino, Jr., PhD
Professor and Deputy Director
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
anthony.artino@usuhs.edu

Linda Perkowski, Ph.D., M.S.
Senior Associate Dean for Faculty/Administration
College of Medicine Central Michigan University
perko1lc@cmich.edu

Nicole J. Borges, PhD
Professor, Neurobiology and Anatomical Sciences
University of Mississippi
nborges@umc.edu

AAMC Staff

Nesha Brown
Senior Program Specialist, Educational Affairs
merc@aamc.org


Workshop Descriptions

Data Management and Preparing for Statistical Consultation

This workshop helps participants prepare their data for analysis and be able to answer questions about their data that a statistician will likely ask when providing consultation. At the end of the workshop the participants will be able to:

  • Collect data;
  • Set up data files;
  • Enter data into data files;
  • Check and clean data prior to analysis;
  • Compare my sample to my population;
  • Address statistical issues discussed during consultation with a statistician (e.g., Type I & II errors, power, effect sizes).

Formulating Research Questions and Designing Studies

In this workshop, participants will brainstorm research ideas, write, and refine a measurable research question. They will discuss when IRB approval is required for their study. The basics of research design will be discussed and applied to their selected research question. Participants will be able to:

  • Write a FINER (feasible, interesting, novel, ethical, relevant) educational research question;
  • Specify an educational research area of interest;
  • Evaluate whether they need IRB approval for their study;
  • Select the correct design for their research question.

Hypothesis-driven Research

Following completion of this workshop, attendees will be able to discuss:

  • how to translate a research question into a hypothesis, and how to develop the null hypothesis;
  • the steps in hypothesis testing;
  • Type 1 and Type 2 errors;
  • power, sample size, confidence interval, and statistical significance.

Measuring Educational Outcomes with Reliability and Validity

This workshop introduces participants to the principles of score reliability and validity, using a combination of didactics and review of medical education research projects. The workshop is divided into two parts with group exercises designed to reinforce understanding of the main principles.

After participating in this workshop, learners will be able to:

  • Identify three types of reliability (inter-rater, test-retest, and internal consistency);
  • Match types of reliability with appropriate statistical measures;
  • Describe the relationship between reliability and validity;
  • Describe multiple forms of evidence for validity;
  • Select an approach to reliability and validity assessment for a particular study.

Introduction to Qualitative Data Collection Methods

This workshop is intended for physicians and generalists in medical education, as well as faculty and staff involved in student affairs, who wish to develop perspectives and skills for collecting qualitative data, such as data from focus group discussions, interviews, observation field notes, and responses to open-ended questions—used in admissions processes, program development, curriculum evaluation, needs assessments, performance evaluation, and various scholarship and research applications.

After participating in this workshop, learners will be able to:

  • Demonstrate applied knowledge of the appropriate selection, use, and standards for rigor of some common methods for collection of qualitative data;
  • Generate research questions appropriate for qualitative studies and choose appropriate data collection methods;
  • Demonstrate applied knowledge of approaches to achieve rigor in the design of qualitative studies and collection of qualitative data;
  • Demonstrate essential skills required for conducting focus groups

Program Evaluation and Evaluation Research

This workshop introduces participants to fundamental principles of educational program evaluation, and provides participants with a strategy for developing an evaluation plan. After participating in this workshop, learners will be able to:

  • Describe program evaluation and its purposes;
  • Identify barriers to program evaluation;
  • Identify models used in evaluation;
  • Describe the steps of an evaluation;
  • Develop an evaluation plan.

Questionnaire Design and Survey Research

This workshop will provide some basic principles in questionnaire/survey design and give workshop participants an opportunity for hands-on experience designing a questionnaire. Following participating in this workshop, learners will be able to:

  • Design a blueprint for a survey/questionnaire appropriate to their own application;
  • Construct and edit questions to avoid common problems in wording and framing;
  • Select an appropriate response format from a menu of alternatives;
  • Design the overall format of the survey/questionnaire to facilitate data management and analysis.

Searching and Evaluating the Medical Education Literature

This workshop is intended for individuals, medical educators, and clinician educators who want to learn how to effectively search the published medical education literature and to evaluate the value of those searches. After participating in this workshop, learners will be able to:

  • Formulate an effective approach to searching the medical education literature;
  • Conduct a search using relevant MeSH headings;
  • Communicate effectively with a research librarian;
  • Evaluate the search results using specific review criteria.

Scholarly Writing: Publishing Medical Education Research

In this session, the skills of scholarly writing will be explored through the lens of analyzing a manuscript that was accepted for publication. The participants will examine review criteria that are used by healthcare education journals and apply them to a sample manuscript. In discussing scholarly writing the participants will make a decision about the type of feedback they would give to the authors of the sample paper. At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the components of a scholarly publication;
  • Discuss how to frame a problem statement;
  • Identify an effective Research Question;
  • Discuss whether the Design/method is appropriate to the question;
  • Discuss whether the authors have applied the best data collection methods to the appropriate sample;
  • Understand the Results section and how to present results in a clear manner.

MERC Workshop Schedule

2019 GEA Spring Meeting Workshop Schedule


Program Evaluation and Evaluation Research
Facilitator: Larry Gruppen, PhD
Location: CGEA Meeting- DeVos Place Convention Center, Grand Rapids, MI
March 27, 2019
9 a.m.-12 p.m.


Introduction to Qualitative Data Collection Methods
Facilitator: Janet Riddle, MD
Location: CGEA Meeting- DeVos Place Convention Center, Grand Rapids, MI
March 27, 2019
1 p.m.-4 p.m.

Searching and Evaluating the Medical Education Literature
Facilitator: TBD
Location: WGEA Meeting-Atlantis Casino, Reno, NV
March 28, 2019
9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Data Management and Preparing for the Statistical Consultation
Facilitator: Jorie Colbert-Getz, PhD
Location: WGEA Meeting-Atlantis Casino, Reno, NV
March 28, 2019
1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Questionnaire Design and Survey Research
Facilitator: Nicole Borges, PhD
Location: SGEA Meeting- Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Orlando, FL
March 28, 2019
7:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

Searching and Evaluating the Literature
Facilitator: Nicole Borges, PhD
Location: SGEA Meeting- Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Orlando, FL
March 28, 2019
10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Measuring Educational Outcomes with Reliability and Validity
Facilitator: Judy Shea, PhD
Location: NEGEA Meeting- Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
April 4, 2019
9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Searching and Evaluating the Literature
Facilitator: Sheila Chauvin, PhD
Location: NEGEA Meeting- Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
April 4, 2019
1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

FAQ for Hosting MERC Workshops

Interested in having workshops hosted at your organization?


Register for MERC Certificate

Those interested in receiving a MERC Certificate must complete six (6) workshops at the regular rate and pay an additional fee of $100 for the certificate. Registration for the MERC Certificate should not take place until you have completed and provided proof of completion of six (6) workshops.


MERC Graduates

MERC has over 1,000 graduates to date.


Medical Education Scholarship Research and Evaluation (MESRE) Section

Formerly the Section on Research in Medical Education (RIME)


Group on Educational Affairs (GEA)

The GEA promotes excellence in the education of physicians throughout their professional lives and contributes to improving the health of the public. The GEA is open to individuals with professional responsibility in medical student, resident, and continuing medical education, designated by deans, hospital directors, or academic societies.