Research in medical education is a priority for the College of Medicine. To ensure that students, as well as future residents, successfully acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors of world-class physicians, the college follows students’ progress through the curriculum. From this data, information regarding best teaching and learning methods, methods of assessment, areas of curricular strengths, and areas needing improvement will be identified. The impact of curricular changes as the College of Medicine matures, as well as the introduction of novel teaching and assessment methods, can be monitored and analyzed for effectiveness in meeting the objectives for students and the program as a whole. In addition, ongoing research in medical education provides faculty opportunities for professional development and collaboration with other academic institutions.
Key research areas include:
- Health Games Research: A proposal was submitted to examine the utility of using game-based technologies to develop an effective, motivating practice environment for the acquisition and maintenance of relapse prevention skills for individuals with alcohol use disorders. This collaborative project involves faculty from the Department of Medical Education, Institute for Simulation and Training, and clinical faculty from the Veteran’s Administration.
- The Clinical Skills and Simulation Center is actively involved in completing medical education research which will yield insight into the proper use of simulation technologies within the medical curriculum. The Center has completed two trials this year: The first project centered on the correct sequencing of simulation strategies for shock education – the research outcomes were presented at the Experimental Biology 2011 conference and is being prepared for publication. The second project involved the continuing refinement of the cranial nerve simulator NERVE, a virtual human project developed in conjunction with the University of Florida as well as the Medical College of Georgia and the University of Georgia. Our final work involves the development of a Virtual Family which will utilize a novel moving knowledge platform developed by Dr. David Metcalf at the Institute for Simulation and Training, UCF.
- Other Research: The College of Medicine is currently anticipating the release of “Requests for Proposals” pertaining to physician history taking skills with regards to substance abuse and harm-reduction programs, and for the development of a consortium to identify early signs of and risk factors for ovarian cancer.