Surgical Education Research: Tips, Skills and Opportunities


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In this interactive workshop we aim to familiarise participants with ways in which surgical educational research is carried out, especially highlighting how it differs from more familiar biomedical approaches. In doing so we will:

- Provide exemplars of educational research carried out by surgeon educators
- Discuss challenges and identify opportunities for developing oneself as a researcher in surgical education.

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  • bothIntroduction (of us and objectives up to slide 3  - 15 minutes) Slide 4 (another 10) Slides with case studies and examples 15 (slides 9-13  - 20) Slides 14-19 challenges and opportunities (20 minutes) Closing 5mins
  • kd
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  • KD with RA supportGet them to discuss in a few minutes and then draw points together…
  • RA with KD support
  • KD-Ask them to pick which ones look most appealing and why? Only 2-3 contributions.
  • Both? Or KD lead first four, RA last two
  • KD An example of politically sensitive research
  • RAThe resulting emphasis on an ‘imperative of proof’ in our dominant research approaches has translated poorly to the domain of education, with a resulting denigration of the domain as ‘soft’ and ‘unscientific’ and a devaluing of knowledge acquired to date. Similarly, our adoption of the physical sciences’ ‘imperative of generalisable simplicity’ has created difficulties for our ability to represent wellthe complexity of the social interactions that shape education and learning at a local level. Reorienting education research from its alignment with the imperative of proof to one with an imperative of understanding, and from the imperative of simplicity to an imperative of representing complexitywell may enable a shift in research focus away from a problematic search for proofs of simple generalisable solutions to our collective problems, towards the generation of rich understandings of the complex environments in which our collective problems are uniquely embedded. (from abstract of Regehr 2010)
  • KDBridge metaphor, crossing paradigms metaphorMethods, including qualitative ones, critical writing, thick description, reflexivity, saturation, member checking. Time spent important… not easy to just dip in and become familiar with the terrain.
  • KD – very brief as links up to RA next slideScholarly engagement with various roles… “The Scholarly method or scholarship is the body of principles and practices used by scholars to make their claims about the world as valid and trustworthy as possible, and to make them known to the scholarly public. It is the methods that systemically advance the teaching, research, and practice of a given scholarly or academic field of study through rigorous inquiry. Scholarship is noted by its significance to its particular profession, is creative, can be documented, can be replicated or elaborated, and can be and is peer-reviewed through various methods...”(Wikipedia: last accessed 09/10/13)
  • RAAccustomed to biomedical research paradigm Lack of time to develop in a new fieldProfessional views of education/educational researchNature of publishingCredibilityNew language Anxiety
  • RAOpportunities for becoming a member of a medical education community of practice…
  • RA I semi-replaced Clinical Teacher with Academic medicine if that’s ok… happy to have seven or ditch Ac Med if not.
  • RABullet point 1- getting to know the literature#2 – meeting like minded people
  • KD if timeConsider main message… Creativity in thinking outside one’s own domain… leads to new links in other fields which may be productive
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  • Surgical Education Research: Tips, Skills and Opportunities

    1. 1. Educational Research Tips, skills, opportunities April 30, 2014 Rola Ajjawi, University of Dundee Kirsten Dalrymple, Imperial College London
    2. 2. What brings you here this morning?
    3. 3. What we hope to address • Compare & contrast different ways of doing research, raising awareness of issues particular to educational research • Consider skills needed and challenges of doing educational research • Highlight examples of educational research done by surgeons • Consider opportunities for developing yourself as an educational researcher
    4. 4. Biomedical & Educational Research • What are the main features of biomedical research? • And of educational research? • Similarities? • Differences?
    5. 5. Case studies… • Please read the case study and discuss with those at your table… – What you think about the: • Research questions? • Methods used? • Explanation? • Relevance to own context? • Impact on policy, practice and education • We’ll share points after…
    6. 6. Evaluation of the construct validity of the objective structured assessment of technical skills (OSATS) tool for subcuticular suturing tasks- Mark Schaverien (2010) Example projects How does the intersection of gendered identities within narratives of learning experiences influence healthcare students’ retention and success within healthcare and/or its speciality? Arun Verma (PhD current) Developing Self-Regulated Learning in Surgical Training: Learning from Expert Musicians- Hannah Winter (2011) An exploration of reasons for dissatisfaction amongst newly qualified doctors in surgical training posts; a phenomenological study- Stephen Boyce (2012) Deeper than tips and tricks: An evaluation of a surgical Training the Trainers course- Tamzin Cuming (2012) Surgical Trainees’ Experiences of Reflection on Practice. Kathryn Thomas (MMedEd 2014) Development of a Tool to Measure the Educational Environment in Surgical Outpatient Clinics. James Alexander Milburn (MMedEd 2012)
    7. 7. Educational research… • ‘Real world’- ideological/political/value-laden? • Influence between researcher and research subject? • Difficulty in generalising/replicating? • Often addresses the ‘why’ it works (versus ‘does it work’?) • Methodological rigour comes from additional angles • Requires (almost) a different language (Wellington, 2000)
    8. 8. “The educational and health care advantages of mastery learning are unequivocal. However, educational inertia grounded in Osler’s natural method of teaching, now known as the ‘apprenticeship model’ of clinical education, is a key reason why mastery learning is not yet prominent in medical education.” (McGaghie, 2014)
    9. 9. “the most critical act in producing high-quality research is to ask a good question” (Shea et al. 2004, p.932) Good questions must be generalisable, original, of importance • Imperative of proof vs imperative of understanding (Regehr 2010) The altruistic purpose of research in medical education is to deepen the knowledge and understanding of learning and education by studying phenomena, relations and how and why and what works for whom (Ringsted et al 2011, p.696)
    10. 10. Social Sciences Art & Craft Science Becoming a researcher in surgical education Education Surgery Developing new ways of thinking and doing things…
    11. 11. (Riley 2013)
    12. 12. What are the challenges for surgeons/trainees in doing educational research?
    13. 13. What are the opportunities? • Filling a 'new' niche • Joining new communities • Influencing the education of (future) surgeons • Greater satisfaction in own teaching • Contributing new knowledge to the field • Creative endeavour
    14. 14. Tips for developing yourself as an educational researcher… • Read medical, surgical and general education literature • Tap into existing communities e.g. ASME, AMEE, FST, ASPiH • & existing resources e.g. KeyLIME podcasts, meded podcasts • Go to meetings (like this one!) • Get training, particularly in education research methods • Apprentice with someone who has been successful doing educational research • Apply for educational research grant e.g. FST • Think carefully about the make up of the research team – interdisciplinarity is very valuable • Twitter #meded and #ukmeded
    15. 15. CUT! The Practice of Surgery by David Alderson PhotobyMattHarrison
    16. 16. Contacts Rola Ajjawi @r_ajjawi Kirsten Dalrymple Link to resources for this workshop: research/2014/04/surgical-education-research/
    17. 17. References • Regehr, G. (2010). It’s NOT rocket science: rethinking our metaphors for research in health professions education. Medical Education, 44(1), 31-39. • Ringsted, C., Hodges, B., & Scherpbier, A. (2011). ‘The research compass’: An introduction to research in medical education: AMEE Guide No. 56. Medical Teacher, 33(9), 695-709 • Shea JA, Arnold L, Mann KV. A RIME perspective on the quality and relevance of current and future medical education research. Academic Medicine 2004;79(10):931-938 • Wellington, J. (2000). Educational Research: Contemporary Issues and Practical Approaches. Bloomsbury Publishing, pg. 180