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Journal: Medical education


Results from end-of-course student evaluations of teaching (SETs) are taken seriously by faculties and form part of a decision base for the recruitment of academic staff, the distribution of funds and changes to curricula. However, there is some doubt as to whether these evaluation instruments accurately measure the quality of course content, teaching and knowledge transfer. We investigated whether the provision of chocolate cookies as a content-unrelated intervention influences SET results.


Healthcare workers have substantial concerns about the effectiveness of the personal protective equipment. Staff desired a refresher training with individual feedback of their abilities to don and doff effectively and assurance that if they donned and doffed correctly their equipment was effective. A nontoxic fluorescent solution, only visible under ultraviolet light, was utilized during the training. This solution was sprayed on and given as a nebulized treatment to a high-fidelity simulator during the scenario. It allowed educators and learners to easily visualize any contamination. This innovative training method demonstrated that following the PPE training improves workplace safety and decreases the risk of transmission.


There are inconsistent claims made about the effectiveness of the flipped classroom (FC) in medical education; however, the quality of the empirical evidence used to back up these claims is not evident. The aims of this review are to examine the scope and quality of studies on the FC teaching approach in medical education and to assess the effects of FCs on medical learning.

Concepts: Psychology, Systematic review, Learning, Evaluation, History of education, Education, Interactive whiteboard, Educational psychology


Context  Health care research generally, and medical education research specifically, make increasingly sophisticated use of social science methods, but these methods are often detached from the theories that are the substantive core of the social sciences. Enhanced understanding of theory is especially valuable for gaining a broader perspective on how issues in medical education reflect the social processes that contextualise them. Methods  This article reviews five social science theories, emphasising their relevance to medical education, beginning with the emergence of the sociology of health and illness in the 1950s, with Talcott Parsons' concept of the ‘sick role’. Four turning points since Parsons are then discussed with reference to the theory developed by, respectively, Harold Garfinkel, Michel Foucault and Pierre Bourdieu, and what is called the ‘narrative or dialogical turn’. In considering these, the author argues for a theory-grounded research that relates specific problems to what Max Weber called the ‘fate of our times’. Conclusions  The conclusion considers how medical education research can critique the reproduction of a discourse of scarcity in health care, rather than participating in this discourse and legitimating the disciplinary techniques that it renders self-evident.

Concepts: Health care, Michel Foucault, Anthropology, Science, Talcott Parsons, Max Weber, Social sciences, Sociology


Context  Emotion in medical education rests between the idealised and the invisible, sitting uneasily at the intersection between objective fact and subjective values. Examining the different ways in which emotion is theorised within medical education is important for a number of reasons. Most significant is the possibility that ideas about emotion can inform a broader understanding of issues related to competency and professionalism. Objectives  The current paper provides an overview of three prevailing discourses of emotion in medical education and the ways in which they activate particular professional expectations about emotion in practice. Methods  A Foucauldian critical discourse analysis of the medical education literature was carried out. Keywords, phrases and metaphors related to emotion were examined for their effects in shaping medical socialisation processes. Discussion  Despite the increasing recognition over the last two decades of emotion as ‘socially constructed’, the view of emotion as individualised is deeply embedded in our language and conceptual frameworks. The discourses that inform our emotion talk and practice as teachers and health care professionals are important to consider for the effects they have on competence and professional identity, as well as on practitioner and patient well-being. Expanded knowledge of how emotion is ‘put to work’ within medical education can make visible the invisible and unexamined emotion schemas that serve to reproduce problematic professional behaviours. For this discussion, three main discourses of emotion will be identified: a physiological discourse in which emotion is described as located inside the individual as bodily states which are universally experienced; emotion as a form of competence related to skills and abilities, and a socio-cultural discourse which calls on conceptions from the humanities and social sciences and directs our attention to emotion’s function in social exchanges and its role as a social, political and cultural mediator.

Concepts: Critical theory, Critical discourse analysis, Psychology, Anthropology, Sociology, Discourse analysis, Linguistics, Discourse


The rise of medical humanities teaching in medical education has introduced pressure to prove efficacy and utility. Review articles on the available evidence have been criticised for poor methodology and unwarranted conclusions. To support a more nuanced discussion of how the medical humanities work, we conducted a scoping review of quantitative studies of medical humanities teaching.

Concepts: Psychology, Research, Medicine, Education, Evidence, Scientific method, Systematic review, Social sciences


Clinical skills expertise can be advanced through accessible and cost-effective video-based observational practice activities. Previous findings suggest that the observation of performances of skills that include flaws can be beneficial to trainees. Observing the scope of variability within a skilled movement allows learners to develop strategies to manage the potential for and consequences associated with errors. This study tests this observational learning approach on the development of the skills of central line insertion (CLI).

Concepts: Critical thinking, Skills, Knowledge, Training, Learning, Skill


High-income country (HIC) trainees are undertaking global health experiences in low- and middle-income country (LMIC) host communities in increasing numbers. Although the benefits for HIC trainees are well described, the benefits and drawbacks for LMIC host communities are not well captured.

Concepts: Communitas, Perspective, Community


The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in many countries implementing restrictions on group gatherings and educational events, creating imperatives for educators to move curricula online with short notice. Within medical schools and health sciences programs, this urgency was compounded by competing priorities of healthcare delivery, since many educators were also clinicians.


Medical students can have difficulty in distinguishing left from right. Many infamous medical errors have occurred when a procedure has been performed on the wrong side, such as in the removal of the wrong kidney. Clinicians encounter many distractions during their work. There is limited information on how these affect performance.

Concepts: Distraction, Performance, Law