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Education as Scholarship

Faculty are usually comfortable with the idea of bench research, and publishing case reports or clinical trial results. But, how do we capture the scholarship in our activity as educators? We often expend a great deal of energy exploring the best way to introduce students to new material or to explain difficult concepts in a new way. We are creative in writing cases for problem based learning sessions or team based learning events. We may build online experiences for learners or validate tools for feedback and assessment. But for many, it has been a challenge to translate this work into “countable” scholarship.

MedEdPortal is an online, peer reviewed, free publication service from the AAMC that helps directly address this challenge. The stated vision is to;

  • “Succeed as the most utilized, cited, and influential health education resource publication.
  • Serve as the premier clearinghouse of high-quality, peer reviewed health education tools.
  • Promote interprofessional collaboration by facilitating the open exchange of educational resources across the health professions.
  • Equip healthcare professionals across the continuum with effective and efficient educational resources to improve patient care.”

This site is highly regarded and a sampling of recent publications on MedEdPortal includes

  • An “Introduction to Dissection” video
  • a web-based curriculum addressing the use of interpreters in medical practice,
  • a teaching video about hand-offs in medical care, called “A Typical Day on the Wards”
  • a TBL case – “Immunology Team-Based Learning: Receptor Diversity & Antigen Presentation”
  • “ The Web-Based Illustrated Clinical Dermatology Glossary”
  • “Neurological Disorder Case for First Year Medical Students – Team Based Learning (TBL) Format “

Publication of your work in MedEdPortal clearly advances achievement of the requirements for promotion– “Documentation of educational scholarship is required to be promoted for excellence in teaching and education. Excellence might also be demonstrated through the development of innovative curriculum or education products accompanied by clearly documented excellent evaluation of these products by peers as well as through published or retrievable durable education products”

One of the newer tools on MedEdPortal is the DREAM initiative. This is a Directory and Repository of Educational Assessment Measures. A systematic review of the medical literature is underway to identify and evaluate currently available assessment tools. The repository provides not only an opportunity to publish original tools that you may have created, but to review what instruments exist and have been validated. If you have expertise in psychometrics and are interested, there is also an opportunity to participate as an author, reviewing others work. 

Recent presentations at national meetings of medical educators have addressed other opportunities to capture the scholarship of education. Our own Emily C. Walvoord, Assistant Dean of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development, Indiana University School of Medicine, presented “Thinking Outside the Box: Turning Your Clinical, Educational and Academic Activities into Scholarship” at November’s AAMC meeting in Philadelphia. She is a terrific resource for our faculty. Dr. Megan Palmer, also an Assistant Dean of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development is the director of the Academy of Teaching Scholars, and is also an outstanding resource for faculty interested in educational scholarship.  Links to the Academy of Teaching Scholars and a new series, the IUSM Educational Research Series (ERS) are below.

We are fortunate to have so many outstanding individuals invested in the growth and development of medical students at IUSM. Innovation and creativity abound. It is important that the hard work of our faculty is recognized and disseminated. We are happy to help you figure out how if you are unsure.


The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.

Sara Grethlein

Bio coming soon.