Leveraging existing education innovations to establish a community of practice to promote medical education scholar development

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Problem: While some academic health centers have organizational structures to support educational scholarship, such as Medical Education Research Units (MERU), many education scholars may lack access to such institutional resources to support their research agenda and professional growth. Approach: In 2014, as part of an externally funded education grant, three faculty educators established a unique education data management system Research & Evaluation Data for Educational Improvement (REDEI). Lacking an institutional MERU, they established an educational research community of practice (CoP) using REDEI as the research dataset. The senior faculty member’s effort to facilitate the group is funded by the Dean’s Office. Outcomes: The CoP meets every 2 weeks to generate research ideas, discuss analytic approach and strategy, review analyses designed to address or explore a research question, and plans for manuscript development. Our CoP has grown from 3 to 18 members representing faculty educators, administrators, and staff across many departments in the School of Medicine. As of 2021, the REDEI system contains performance data on 1,246 students across all years of undergraduate medical education. To date, we have published 11 peer-reviewed educational research manuscripts. Five learners have served as coauthors (three medical students and two residents), three of whom were first authors. Eleven additional papers are in process. This community of practice supports productivity, provides mentorship, overcomes barriers, and is flexible enough for people to join when they can or when an area of interest is actively under development. Next Steps: We are working on educational interdisciplinary research grant submission and creating collaborations with other institutions. Our focus remains on honing skills in grantsmanship, identification of impactful research questions, application of rigorous methods and instrumentation to address them, and refining process of budget development, timelines, and other planning strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2133587
JournalMedical Education Online
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022


  • Community of practice
  • faculty development
  • health professions education scholarship
  • learner engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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