Stimulating medical education research in the Netherlands

Debbie Jaarsma*, Albert Scherpbier, Cees Van der Vleuten, Olle Ten Cate

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Since the 1970s, the Dutch have been active innovators and researchers in the medical education domain. With regards to the quantity of publications in the medical education literature, the Netherlands rank second among countries in Europe and fourth worldwide over the past years, related to the journals with highest impact factors. Aim: We attempted to analyse what made this country so productive by exploring the backgrounds of this success. Method: An updated comparative evaluation was conducted. Nationalities of first and last authors were screened. And an indicator whether supervision is 'exported' or 'imported' was calculated. Results: The Netherlands still rank high in number of publications and the production increases. In contrast to other countries, the Dutch are 'exporting' their supervision. Conclusions: The opportunity to start a new, experimental medical school from scratch in Maastricht has undoubtedly contributed significantly to this national productivity. One other factor seems the establishment of the Netherlands Association for Medical Education with its mission to stimulate research and development of education. Annual conferences, Courses on research in medical education, Chairs in medical education qualified to graduate PhD students, and a general open and critical national culture of enquiry may have added to this success.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-281
JournalMedical Teacher
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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