ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2011; 18:1081–1089 © 2011 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine


Objectives:  The objective was to critically appraise and highlight medical education research studies published in 2010 that were methodologically superior and whose outcomes were pertinent to teaching and education in emergency medicine (EM).

Methods:  A search of the English language literature in 2010 querying PubMed, Scopus, Education Resources Information Center (ERIC), and PsychInfo identified 41 EM studies that used hypothesis-testing or observational investigations of educational interventions. Five reviewers independently ranked all publications based on 10 criteria, including four related to methodology, that were chosen a priori to standardize evaluation by reviewers. This method was used previously to appraise medical education published in 2008 and 2009.

Results:  Five medical education research studies met the a priori criteria for inclusion and are reviewed and summarized here. Comparing the literature of 2010 to 2008 and 2009, the number of published educational research papers increased from 30 to 36 and then to 41. The number of funded studies remained fairly stable over the past 3 years at 13 (2008), 16 (2009), and 9 (2010). As in past years, research involving the use of technology accounted for a significant number of publications (34%), including three of the five highlighted studies.

Conclusions:  Forty-one EM educational studies published in 2010 were identified. This critical appraisal reviews and highlights five studies that met a priori quality indicators. Current trends and common methodologic pitfalls in the 2010 papers are noted.