In this issue

Time to do it right

Pusic and colleagues consider the role of time measurements in learning medical procedures with the aim of developing a conceptual model describing how chronometry can be used to enhance learning. To inform this study they undertook a review of prior publications where time measurements were used directly as a pedagogic intervention or assessment method. Their findings highlight a number of desirable features of chronometry. Chronometry has the potential to contribute to instructional designs and assessment methods in the training of medical procedures. They advise of the need to conduct careful studies that guide the improved use of chronometry in health education.

Pusic MV, Brydges R, Kessler D, Szyld D, Nachbar M, Kalet A. What’s your best time? Chronometry in the learning of medical procedures. Med Educ 2014;48:479–88.

Becoming a doctor: students’ professional identity formation

Professional identity formation is a crucial process for becoming a doctor. At McMaster University, medical students maintain a portfolio of narrative reflections during pre-clerkship. Wong and Trollope-Kumar examined this rich source of data to further understand professional identity formation. Analysis of 65 portfolios reveal five major influences on professional identity formation: prior experiences, role models, patient encounters, curriculum and societal expectations. Longitudinal analysis show how these themes interact and evolve over time. Their study provides a window on the dynamic and discursive nature of professional identity formation through the power of narrative reflective writing.

Wong A, Trollope-Kumar K. Reflections: an inquiry into medical students’ professional identity formation. Med Educ 2014;48:489–501.

Professional dilemmas and their implications for health care students

Monrouxe and colleagues conducted a qualitative cross-sectional study of dental, nursing, pharmacy and physiotherapy students’ narratives of professionalism dilemmas to further understand the types of events they encounter and how they narrate those events. The data collected included narratives of student abuse, patient safety and dignity breaches by students and health care professionals, whistle-blowing, challenging and consent. Their analysis of these narratives illustrates how events are constructed, the emotional implications and resulting effects of these experiences. Their findings have implications for the learning of professionalism values, behaviours and practices and the ways in which the development and maintenance of students’ moral identities may be facilitated.

Monrouxe LV, Rees CE, Endacott R, Ternan E. ‘Even now it makes me angry’: health care students’ professionalism dilemma narratives. Med Educ 2014;48:502–17.

Really Good Stuff

The May edition of the Really Good Stuff section is brimming over with interventions and innovations from around the globe. Enthusiastic educators across the world afford us with an intriguing glimpse of their work and share their experiences and insights. In the introduction to the current section this year's editorial interns have also privileged us with their thoughts on the challenges faced by authors, reviewers and editors alike and offer prospective authors advice on how to maximise their opportunity for publication when writing these short reports.

Anderson MB, Yusoff MSB, Stenfors-Hayes T, Ajjawi R. Really Good Stuff: Lessons learned through innovation in medical education. Med Educ 2014;48:520.