Themed Issues

Life Sciences in an Integrated Curriculum

03/04/2017 - 02/07/2017

Most medical schools offer extensive learning opportunities with a focus on Life Sciences, these may be integrated with clinical sciences and clinical skills; linking theory with practice. Efforts have been made to define a core curriculum for some disciplines, but the emphasis has been on published lists of concepts, competences, and learning outcomes, rather than teaching methods with proven effectiveness.

In this special edition of MedEdPublish, we aim to start a conversation about innovative, engaging and effective ways to support learners in their study of the Life Sciences; including anatomy, genetics, biochemistry and physiology. We intend to provoke discussions regarding the evidence-base of the teaching we deliver, and consider if our graduates possess the necessary core knowledge and skills they require in clinical practice.

There will be a particular interest in case studies and research about the following:
  • Research-led and evidence-based educational strategies in learning and teaching, assessment, and curriculum development;
  • The integrated curriculum, clinically relevant life science and inter-disciplinary teaching;
  • Strategies to encourage active learning; including interactive, flipped and blended approaches;
  • Student-partners in curriculum development and educational research;
  • Innovative, creative and artistic learning and teaching methods;
  • Technology enhanced learning (TEL) including online learning tools, virtual laboratories and social media;
  • Peer-peer and near-peer learning and teaching.
We invite submissions from teachers of the core Life Sciences and those who design and evaluate these parts of the curriculum. We are also keen to hear student voices and the opinions of other stakeholders such as employers and postgraduate tutors.

To ensure manuscripts are considered for inclusion in this quarterly themed issue, authors are encouraged to upload their manuscript through the online submission form between the 1st April 2017 and the 16th June 2017.

Please contact the Theme Editors by email or twitter if you have any queries: [email protected]; @GeneticsMBBS and [email protected]; @dr_keenan.

Theme Editor

Dr Barbara Jennings BSc (Hons), PhD, PGCertHEP, SFHEA

Barbara Jennings joined Norwich Medical School (NMS) as part of the inaugural team when it was established in 2002, and is a Senior Lecturer in the Medical Education department. She is the academic lead for the genetics curriculum at NMS, and for faculty continuous-professional-development. Barbara has a background in cancer research and in clinical molecular diagnostics for the NHS. Her published research spans cancer genetics, genetic epidemiology, pharmacogenetics, and technology-enhanced-learning. Collaborative educational responsibilities include external examining, membership of Genomics England’s Education and Training partnership, and membership of the Editorial Board of AMEE MedEdPublish. Barbara is also a Senior Fellow of the Higher education Academy.

Co-Theme Editor

Dr Iain D Keenan, BSc, PhD, MMedEd, FHEA

Dr Iain Keenan is a Lecturer in Anatomy at Newcastle University and is a councillor of the Anatomical Society (AS), responsible for AS website and social media activities. He holds a doctorate in Biology from the University of York and has experience as a postdoctoral researcher exploring the regulation of gene expression in growth, development and cancer. He currently delivers teaching in gross anatomy, embryology and histology for undergraduate and postgraduate medicine and medical sciences degree programmes. His current research involves the development and evaluation of innovative, creative and digital learning methods in anatomy education, particularly concerning the use of student partner approaches for the investigation of artistic learning methods in anatomy and clinical imaging. He is the lead author on a recent publication in this area: Improvements in anatomy knowledge when utilizing a novel cyclical “Observe-Reflect-Draw-Edit-Repeat” learning process (2016), Anat Sci Ed. doi: 10.1002/ase.1616. His research interests also include the educational and professional use of social media by both medical students and educators.

Medical students and postgraduate trainees as medical educators

03/07/2017 - 01/10/2017

Medical students and doctors in training are increasingly involved in medical education.  They are likely to teach other, less senior, students and trainees; and they also work collaboratively with their peers to share learning both formally and informally.  Evidence suggests that ‘near-peer’ and ‘peer-to-peer’ teaching have beneficial educational effects both for teachers and students and also for the culture and organisation of institutions, but more work needs to be done on how best to support both peer teachers and learners to get the most out of these educational opportunities.

We would like to hear from anyone involved in near-peer and peer-to-peer teaching.  We especially look forward to reading manuscripts from: those with experience as either teacher or learner; organisers and managers of such schemes in medical schools and clinical settings; those who support and train peer teachers; and those who can offer insights, evaluations or research evidence on the cost-effectiveness, acceptability, benefits and challenges of engaging students and trainees in teaching their peers.  All types of papers will be considered, but we are particularly keen to publish work that will offer practical and generalizable insights into how to improve peer teaching for all involved.

To ensure manuscripts are considered for inclusion in this quarterly themed issue, authors are encouraged to upload their manuscript through the online submission form between the 1st July 2017 and the 15th September 2017.

If you would like to discuss a possible submission, please contact Julie Browne ([email protected]).

Theme Editor

Julie Browne MA, SFHEA, FAcadMEd

Julie Browne MA, SFHEA, FAcadMEd is Senior Lecturer in Academic Practice at Cardiff University School of Medicine and Route Lead for its Intercalated BSc in Medical Education. She has long worked in academic publishing and was formerly Managing Editor of Medical Education and The Clinical Teacher. She was the first Executive Officer of the Academy of Medical Educators (AoME) and managed the consultation and development processes that led to the publication and implementation of its Professional Standards for Medical Educators. She is Vice Chair of the Council of the Academy of Medical Educators and an Assessor for its professional recognition scheme. She has been involved in quality assurance of medical education as an education associate with the GMC. Her published works include a number of papers, editorials and chapters, and she is co-author of a recently published book on identity, power and location in medical education. She is also the author, with Derek Gallen and Alison Bullock, of the GMC’s Essential Guide to Trainer Recognition and is a member of the working party developing the UK Credential in Medical Education. She has a particular interest in the role that standards play in raising the quality of medical education for the benefit of patients and was the recipient of the 2015 President’s Silver Medal of the Academy of Medical Educators for services to medical education.

Co-Theme Editor

Dr Jamie Read

Dr Jamie Read is currently a PhD student with Plymouth University undertaking research into medical education within the medical school. Until recently he was an NIHR funded Academic Clinical Fellow with research interests in remediation in medical students and doctors and the role that near-peer education can play in both formal and informal training of medical students. His clinical background is as a trainee in Geriatric Medicine based in the South West of the UK, most recently at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth. Jamie has been involved in supporting early careers medical educators for some time and until recently he chaired the Early Careers Group of the Academy of Medical Educators – the professional organisation for educators of doctors, dentists and vets within the UK which has produced Professional Standards to support medical educators. He is now the Academy Registrar and Council member and retains a strong interest in encouraging more junior medical educators to develop their careers. Jamie has also been involved as a GMC associate in the quality assurance of medical education team and was a member of the Expert Advisory Group for the future of medical education and training. He is a strong advocate for both the patient and the trainee voice in the development of medical education in the UK.