Health Professions Education Scholarship

Carol S. Hodgson, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics
J Allan Gilbert Chair in Medical Education Research


The report of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Group on Educational Affairs (GEA) invited Consensus Conference on Educational Scholarship1 and provides a good starting point to discuss the idea of health professions educational scholarship. I was fortunate to be able to participate in this invited conference and hope that I was able to contribute something, in addition to taking much away from the experience.

Below I have included some direct quotes from the final report that I hope will stimulate thought and begin a discussion about educational scholarship in the health professions. The web pages that follow under Health Professions Education Scholarship provide information on opportunities for you to take a scholarly approach to your educational practice and/or help you in the practice of educational scholarship. These include opportunities for faculty development, research funding information, and ways to collaborate with others in the field of health professions education.

From the AAMC GEA invited Consensus Conference on Educational Scholarship1

“Educators add value to their institutions by contributing to the educational mission and/or by advancing knowledge in the field of education… Engagement is documented with evidence that educators’ work is informed by what is known in the field—a scholarly approach—and how, over time, educators contribute to knowledge in the field—educational scholarship. There is both synergy and tension between faculty’s roles as educators and as contributors to the broader medical education field.

An educator must engage with the broader educational community to demonstrate a scholarly approach.

  • Scholarly Approach: Faculty take a scholarly approach when they systematically design, implement, assess, and redesign an educational activity, drawing from the literature and “best practices” in the field. Documentation describes how the activity was informed by the literature and/or best practices.
  • Engagement with the Education Community: A scholarly approach requires that instructors apply the principles and findings from the education literature (e.g., competency-based education, deliberate practice) to their teaching, along with development of associated instructional materials.
  • Educational Scholarship: Faculty engage in educational scholarship by both drawing upon resources and best practices in the field and by contributing resources to it. Documentation begins by demonstrating that an educational activity product is publicly available to the education community in a form that others can build on. The product may be available at the local level—in the department, medical school, or university—or at the regional, national, or international level. Once a product is public and in a form that others build on, peers can assess its value to the community [by] applying accepted criteria.”

J Allan Gilbert Chair in Medical Education Research

Dr. Carol Hodgson became the first Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry J. Allan Gilbert Chair in Medical Education Research in November 2010. Prior to that, she was the associate dean for Educational Development and Research at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine. Previously, she was the director of educational research and development at the University of California San Francisco and UCLA Schools of Medicine.

The role of the J Allan Gilbert Chair in Medical Education Research is to provide to the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry expertise and leadership to curriculum development, instruction and evaluation, to pursue their own program of research, and facilitate the support and mentoring of educators in the pursuit of scholarly activities.

Key Accountabilities:

  • Act as a dedicated innovative leader in the ongoing development, implementation and evaluation of quality educational programs and research in medical education;
  • Foster a scholarly approach to ensure the university is recognized as one of the leading medical schools in Canada;
  • Build networks with individuals throughout the fFaculty to promote and support advances in health- sciences education research;
  • Facilitate the implementation of new educational research findings into educational practice within the faculty;
  • Research and implement best practices in the development and critical evaluation of innovative methods of medical education curriculum development and evaluation;
  • Build a team of professionals to conduct research in specific focus areas;
  • Initiate advances in the theory, knowledge and practice of learning and assessment throughout the continuum of medical education; and
  • Research and develop innovative assessment approaches that will enhance the evaluation of medical education practices.

Top of the page