esmsc Medical Education Research Group

esmsc Medical Education Research Group: the course research engine (10.1016/j.amsu.2018.05.008)

The practice of evidence-based medicine and critical appraisal is essential for the modern doctor. Early engagement of medical students in research methodology is considered a rising need for most medical school curricula; but few peer-reviewed initiatives have been reported so far. We developed a Medical Education Research Group (eMERG) as part of a novel undergraduate surgical masterclass that aimed to train undergraduate students in basic research methodology, as well as to motivate them to pursue a clinical and academic career in surgical specialties.

eMERG consists of an international structured network of senior academics, consultant-level clinicians, and senior and junior trainees, who provide a supporting framework to undergraduate trainees. Students are selected from a competitive pool of applicants. Several small prospective studies in skills-based education, as well as systematic reviews on similar topics have run under the umbrella of this framework, in the form of scholarship awards. Structured feedback questionnaires were distributed to evaluate the experience of the first 3 years.

Twelve students have participated in this pilot initiative; 14 manuscripts have been submitted for publication and 12 were accepted after peer-review in MEDLINE-indexed journals. Delegates perceived this experience as an excellent training opportunity that improved their research productivity. Delegates also stated engagement in research-developed interest in the relevant surgical speciality, affecting their career aspirations.

eMERG is one of the first reported European educational research networks for undergraduate level trainees. Research outcomes and students’ perceptions conclude that eMERG enhances engagement with research methodology and motivation toward a surgical career.

Sideris M, Papalois A et al, Funded in the form of Research Grant by Experimental Educational, and Research Centre ELPEN