Research in Medical Education
Research Group for Primary Care Medical Education's goal is to contribute to good research, theory development and knowledge implementation in medical education, in collaboration with national and international research environments. MedUt shall prioritize educational research with general medical relevance.
The research group
MedUt (Research Group for Medical Education) is anchored in the Section for general practice (Section for General Practice | University of Bergen (uib.no)) and welcomes academics from other environments, including the Department for Global Public Health and Primary Care (Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care | University of Bergen (uib.no)) and the Faculty of Medicine (Faculty of Medicine | University of Bergen (uib.no)). MedUt aims to inspire critical thinking and produce high-quality research, theory development and knowledge implementation in medical education. MedUt collaborates with national and international research environments, including Maastricht University (The Netherlands), McGill University (Canada), University of Antwerp (Belgium), Karolinska Institutet (Sweden), NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) and University of Oslo.
Why educational research - at a faculty of medicine?
The quality of health care hinges on medical practitioners’ knowledge, skills and wisdom. Clinicians’ capabilities, i.e. their demonstrated skills in caring for their patients, identifying relevant problems and applying medical knowledge judiciously, depends on the quality of their educational background, and how professional identities take shape through interactions with theoretical and practical learning environments.
High quality education is based not only on cutting-edge pedagogical knowledge and instructional methods, but also on adequate theoretical understanding of what is at stake in healthcare, what the ultimate goals of medicine are, and how medical education may shape individuals and societies. Medical education research is a rapidly expanding field of research and scholarly activity worldwide.
New digital technologies and the rapid advent of artificial intelligence pose new possibilities and threats for education. For a faculty of medicine, with its high degree of specialization and necessary focus on biomedical knowledge, it is essential to also have clinician researchers who dedicate themselves to medical education research and contribute to innovation and educational quality in all study programs, including faculty development initiatives.
An overview of the many Medut projects is provided below.
The CanNorMent mixed-methods study
A collaborative investigation of physician-mentors’ experiences and perspectives on group-based mentorship programs at three medical schools in Norway and Canada
Researchers at the Faculty of Medicine in Bergen are collaborating with the University of Troms and McGill University (in Montreal, Canada) on a study that deals with the mentoring program in the medical schools.
At all three study sites, medical students are included in various mentoring programs. However, the mentoring arrangements are quite different and the project therefore focuses on the mentors as a key resource.
How are the mentor groups run at the various study sites? How do the mentors experience their role as a mentor, and what motivates them to be mentors?
The research project uses both questionnaires and qualitative research interviews to collect data on these questions. The project will generate important information about how mentoring arrangements, in different contexts, should be run and facilitated to ensure stable and good learning processes for the students.
Relevant article: Group mentorship for undergraduate medical students-a systematic review
Project Manager: Edvin Schei, Professor, IGS.
Professional identity formation in medical students and doctors
In this PhD-project we aim to reach a deeper understanding of how identity is formed in medical students and doctors. We are interested in their narratives and how they use those narratives to make sense of themselves and their experiences. We have previously published two articles:
1. Threshold conceps in group-based mentoring and implications for faculty development: A qualitative analysis
Medical students’ professional identity formation during hospital practice (PROFMED), 2021-2024
PROFMED aims to improve medical students’ hospital placement learning and support the development of a professional doctor’s identity. This is done by a) systematically preparing students for workplace participation, and b) educating hospital doctors who interact with students at a local teaching hospital (Haugesund hospital).
The project addresses fourth-year medical students in Bergen, who do their placements in surgery and internal medicine in four different hospitals. Intervention a) consists of student-active activities to prepare students intellectually and affectively for hospital placement, using learning activities to provide information and support reflection. Intervention b) is a collaborative, locally anchored faculty development project targeting all relevant physicians at Haugesund hospital, offering a program for developing reflexive supervision skills, aiming at long-term learning environment changes.
The project is funded by HK-dir – the Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills.
Shame in medical education
This study explored through qualitative analysis of focus group interviews how senior medical students experience and react to shame during clinical placements. Available from: Shame in medical clerkship: “You just feel like dirt under someone’s shoe” | Perspectives on Medical Education (springer.com)
MedUt participants: Edvin Schei, Beth Whelan
To greet or not to greet
In a new analysis of the interview data from the shame study, we explored students’ narratives of feeling alienated and losing agency as learners resulting from lack of explicit or implicit greeting and welcoming behaviour during clinical placements.
Manuscript: Alienation in the teaching hospital: How physician non-greeting behaviour impacts medical students’ learning and professional identity formation” by Valestrand EA, Whelan B, Eliassen KER, and Schei E, is submitted to Perspectives on Medical Education, Sept. 2023
The project contributes to ensure that medical education in Norway has a sufficient number of clinical placement sites in general practitioner offices, of good quality and with competent practice supervisors. The overall purpose is to recruit and train competent doctors for the general practice in the municipalities.
The PhD project is about general practitioners (GPs) as supervisors for medical students in clinical placements at the GP office. In one study we conduct a cross-sectional questionnaire study to gather data on GPs’ willingness, needs, motivation and attitudes to host students to their surgeries. We also perform a qualitative interview study on students’ and GPs’ experiences with peer placement where two medical students are placed together in the clinical placement period”.
MedUt participants: Steinar Hunskår (Head of the project, principal investigator, supervisor), Gunnar T. Bondevik (Practice Coordinator, supervisor), Julie S. Knutsen (Ph.D.-candidate), Knut Eirik Eliassen (Project manager), Karen Haugvaldstad (consultant).
More information is available from: Flere praksisplasser og bedre veiledning for medisinstudenter på fastlegekontorene (FRONESIS) - Alrek (alrekhelseklynge.no)
Early patient contact (PASKON) is a mandatory course for first year medical students in Bergen, teaching students about patient-centered medicine. PASKON is part of “The professional column” of the curriculum at the medical school (Profesjonalitetssøylen | Det medisinske fakultet | UiB).
MedUt currently leads two different research projects in PASKON:
- Patients as teachers, together with Winny Ang, University of Antwerp (BE).
- Student supervisors and feedback competency, together with medical student Anna Victoria Flankegård.