Study protocol for a pilot study to explore the determinants of knowledge use in a medical education context

Authors

  • Scott Reeves PhD MSc PGCE,

    Corresponding author
    1. Director, Center for Innovation in Interprofessional Healthcare Education, University of California, San Francisco and Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Interprofessional Care, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA
      Dr Scott Reeves, Center for Innovation in Interprofessional Healthcare Education, University of California, 500 Parnassus Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA, E-mail: scott.reeves@ucsf.edu
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  • Karen Leslie MD MEd FRCPC,

    1. Director, Centre for Faculty Development and Associate Professor, Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
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  • Lindsay Baker MEd BEd,

    1. Education Research Associate, Centre for Faculty Development, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
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  • Eileen Egan-Lee MEd,

    1. Education Research Associate, Centre for Faculty Development, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
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  • France Légaré MD PhD CCFP FCFP,

    1. Canada Research Chair, Implementation of Shared Decision Making in Primary Care; Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine and Director, Knowledge Transfer and Health Technology Assessment Research Group, Research Center of Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec, Université Laval, Quebec, QC, Canada
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  • Ivan Silver MD MEd FRCPC,

    1. Vice President Education, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, ON, Canada and Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
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  • Jay Rosenfield MD MEd FRCPC,

    1. Vice-Dean, Undergraduate Medical Education and Professor of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
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  • Brian Hodges PhD MD MEd FRCPC,

    1. Vice-President Education, University Health Network, Toronto, ON, Canada and Richard and Elizabeth Currie Chair in Health Professions Education Research; Scientist, Wilson Centre for Research in Education; Professor, Department of Psychiatry; Senior Fellow, Massey College, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
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  • Vernon Curran PhD MEd,

    1. Professor, Medical Education and Director, Academic Research and Development, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Faculty of Medicine, St. John's, NF, Canada
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  • Heather Armson MD CCFP FCFP,

    1. Assistant Dean, Continuing Medical Education for Family Medicine and Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada
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  • Simon Kitto PhD

    1. Scientist, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital; Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery; Scientist, Wilson Centre; Director of Education Research, Office of Continuing Education and Professional Development, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
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Dr Scott Reeves, Center for Innovation in Interprofessional Healthcare Education, University of California, 500 Parnassus Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA, E-mail: scott.reeves@ucsf.edu

Abstract

Rationale, aims and objectives  While the science of knowledge translation (KT) has been growing steadily for the past decade in relation to understanding processes and actions which are embedded within clinical practice settings, little is known about how empirical knowledge is used within the medical education system. Despite an increase of research in this domain, we know very little about the contribution of this evidence in the development of medical students into effective physicians. This pilot study aims to: provide a synthesis of the evidence for educational strategies within medical education; explore the perceptions and experiences of faculty in undergraduate (UG) medical education in relation to their use of evidence in their educational practices; and illuminate how medical education evidence is formally integrated into a UG medical curriculum.

Method  The study will involve three phases. First, a scoping review of the medical education research literature will be undertaken to generate insight into the evidence available for curriculum development, teaching and assessment activities within this domain. Second, a content analysis of undergraduate courses at the University of Toronto will be undertaken to generate an additional insight into the extent that medical education research has been formally integrated into the UG curriculum for medical students at the University. Finally, a purposeful sample of 30–40 medical education leaders from a single large university, selected as it aims to deliver a rigorous research-oriented medical curriculum, will be interviewed to understand how they use the available evidence in their education practices.

Discussion  This study will lay the grounds to generate initial data into the determinants of knowledge use in a medical education context. In doing so, the findings will also inform the development of a larger, pan-Canadian study at medical schools that will generate a comprehensive account of the processes and challenges related to KT within an educational context. This larger study will also begin to explore the relevance of the Knowledge-to-Action model to a medical education context.

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