ABSTRACT: Encouraging new doctors to do medical education research
Background: An academic foundation programme in medical education may allow junior medical trainees to gain experience in teaching and medical education research. After 2 years, three trainees will have completed the programme, and three more will be halfway through it. The authors explore problems encountered and how trainees maximised their experience, helping to inform future planning. Summary of work: Semi-structured group discussions covering trainees’ experiences were conducted in the summer of 2011. All six trainees in the programme participated. Summary of results: Both site-specific and general issues were raised, most of which were dealt with in a pragmatic fashion. The trainees’ goals and subsequent achievements varied. Important factors for trainees and those supervising them, and the organisation of the programme, are discussed. Conclusions: Our experience is that an academic foundation programme in medical education can be successful. This requires collaboration between trainees and supervisors. Take-home message: The role of the academic supervisor in medical education research is key, but those involved in the practicalities of helping trainees maintain their protected research time is just as important.