Working Definitions of the Roles and an Organizational Structure in Health Professions Education Scholarship: Initiating an International Conversation

Lara Varpio*, Larry Gruppen, Wendy Hu, Bridget O'Brien, Olle ten Cate, Susan Humphrey-Murto, David M. Irby, Cees van der Vleuten, Stanley J. Hamstra, Steven J. Durning

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Web of Science)
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Abstract

Problem

Health professions education scholarship (HPES) is an important and growing field of inquiry. Problematically, consistent use of terminology regarding the individual roles and organizational structures that are active in this field are lacking. This inconsistency impedes the transferability of current and future findings related to the roles and organizational structures of HPES.

Approach

Based on data collected during interviews with HPES leaders in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and the Netherlands, the authors constructed working definitions for some of the professional roles and an organizational structure that support HPES. All authors reviewed the definitions to ensure relevance across multiple countries.

Outcomes

The authors define and offer illustrative examples of three professional roles in HPES (clinician educator, HPES research scientist, and HPES administrative leader) and an organizational structure that can support HPES participation (HPES unit). These working definitions are foundational and not all-encompassing and, thus, are offered as stimulus for international dialogue and understanding.

Next Steps

With these working definitions, scholars and administrative leaders can examine HPES roles and organizational structures across and between national contexts to decide how lessons learned in other contexts can be applied to their local contexts. Although rigorously constructed, these definitions need to be vetted by the international HPES community. The authors argue that these definitions are sufficiently transferable to support such scholarly investigation and debate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-208
Number of pages4
JournalAcademic Medicine
Volume92
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017

Keywords

  • MEDICAL-EDUCATION

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