SAEM 2012 Consensus Conference: Education Research in EM

It has just been announced that the upcoming 2012 SAEM annual meeting will feature a full-day Consensus Conference on Education Research in Emergency Medicine. In the past, Consensus Conferences have focused on such areas as "Interventions to Assure Quality in the Crowded Emergency Department" and "The Science of Simulation in Healthcare: Defining and Developing Clinical Expertise".

There's introductory information on the SAEM Facebook page. The format is a bit cluttered, so I am reposting here below:

 2012 Academic Emergency Medicine Consensus Conference
“Education Research in Emergency Medicine:
Opportunities, Challenges and Strategies for Success”

The 2012 Academic Emergency Medicine Consensus Conference, “Education Research in Emergency Medicine: Opportunities, Challenges and Strategies for Success” will be held on May 9, 2012, immediately preceding the SAEM Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois.  Original papers on the conference topic, if accepted, will be published together with the conference proceedings in the December 2012 issue of Academic Emergency Medicine.

A divide has traditionally existed in academic medicine between the educator and the researcher.  The goal of this conference is to bridge this gap, by exploring the principles that guide these two allied disciplines to create a unified focus on education research science that will benefit our teachers, our learners and ultimately our patients.

Emergency medicine (EM) educators have long perceived the need for better research to guide the frequent challenges encountered in the academic environment.   These include identifying best practice teaching methods, validating assessment tools, evaluating competency, and preventing cognitive errors.  Efforts to address these challenges have begun; however the historical use of suboptimal study designs, subjective outcomes, small samples sizes, and lack of expertise in methods useful in other domains can limit the success of education research studies. A coordinated agenda for EM education research is needed to address these topics and streamline our research efforts.

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Outcome Project now mandates that training programs demonstrate the effectiveness of educational interventions and show evidence of trainee aptitude and achievement in the core competencies.   The American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) now requires its diplomats to provide evidence of Assessment of Practice Performance in order to receive continuous certification.  These and other requirements highlight the current paucity of available evidence to inform our instruction and evaluation of emergency physicians, and call for our field to develop high-quality education research.

A systematic approach to education research in EM is essential for the continued improvement of clinical emergency care, even for providers beyond residency training.    In the decade since the Institute of Medicine's 2001 "Crossing the Quality Chasm" report identified the failure of health care environments to consistently deliver evidence-based care, the increased emphasis on translational research and patient safety has identified even broader needs for education-based research.  Without well-designed studies to investigate the most effective methods to teach and evaluate emergency physicians, scientific discoveries cannot be effectively disseminated to physicians in training or in practice, nor the benefits fully realized by our patients.

This Consensus Conference on Education Research in Emergency Medicine proposes to build a solid foundation upon which EM education researchers can build interdisciplinary scholarship, networks of expertise, discussion forums, multicenter collaborations, evidence-based publications and improved learner education.  Such efforts will enable us to make significant contributions to the state of knowledge in medical education and, ultimately, to optimize patient care.

Consensus Conference Goals:
  • Provide an overview of the current state of education research in EM 
  • Identify and examine the barriers that educators face in conducting well-powered, rigorous education research, and develop recommendations for overcoming these barriers
  • Define most appropriate and effective methods for conducting education research studies
  • Identify priority agenda areas within specific education research domains, such as:
  • Establishing the effectiveness of clinical and didactic curricula in educating EM trainees in each of the six ACGME core competencies
  • Evaluating performance of learners across the continuum of medical education, from medical student to practicing emergency physician
  • Validating educational assessment tools
  • Teaching and evaluating non-cognitive ACGME core competencies, such as “Professionalism” and “Interpersonal and Communication Skills”
  • Measuring the impact of educational interventions to improve patient safety
  • Research designs conducive to studying education outcomes
  • Develop a framework to increase collaboration, access to research support and potential funding sources and promote faculty development in education research

Original contributions describing relevant research or concepts on this topic will be considered for publication in the December 2012 issue of Academic Emergency Medicine if received by Monday, March 12, 2012.  All submissions will undergo peer review and publication cannot be guaranteed.  For queries, please contact Nicole DeIorio, MD (, Joseph LaMantia, MD (, or Lalena Yarris, MD (, Consensus Conference Co-chairs.  Information and updates will be regularly posted in Academic Emergency Medicine, the SAEM Newsletter, and the journal and SAEM websites.
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