Why a Master's in Medical Education?

A degree in Medical Education is becoming an essential credential for today's medical education leaders.

Clinical faculty members are often targeted for leadership in medical education; however, their career paths may have been rocky. In the past, clinical faculty members were tracked into either patient care or clinical research with teaching responsibilities distributed among them. Because this model may result in poor quality clinical education, many institutions are giving renewed recognition to teaching.

Accrediting agencies for Medical Education have instituted a requirement that each institution in postgraduate training have a designated institutional official (DIO); however, individuals in this role often lack adequate training for their responsibilities. Surveys show that this official should be a leader, an expert and a role model. Individuals in these positions want training that leads to certification. They believe that the well-prepared official can provide better leadership and direction for improving education.

Professional Learning Communities

Until recently, individuals went into fellowships to get training for teaching in undergraduate and graduate medical education. Participants appreciated the opportunity to meet others interested in medical education and to become aware of available educational resources. As a result, many join new educational committees, take on new leadership roles in medical education, and develop new courses for students and residents. Their projects are often presented at national meetings and submitted for publication.

However, many individuals are searching for an academic home and an advanced degree through which they can move into academic medicine or move into leadership roles. They are looking beyond internal faculty development workshops and external conferences in order to gain a thorough understanding of the conceptual frameworks of educational programs and the skill sets for application of theory into practice. They believe that successful learning often comes from building a community of learners through interacting with faculty mentors and program classmates who have different perspectives.

Think Tank

This program can serve as a think tank, helping you develop skills to be a leader in medical and health care training environments. As a student with us, you find support in your home institutions because the coursework and the applied project are directly related to the work of your institution, thereby providing a value-added dimension in a time of change to competency-based education. The AOA and the ACGME Residency Review Council (RRC) require graduate medical education programs to maintain an “environment of inquiry and scholarship” for the faculty and an “active research component.” This scholarship would be encouraged and supported through an academic program using Boyer’s areas of academic inquiry:

  • The scholarship of discovery, evidenced by peer-reviewed funding or publication of original research.
  • The scholarship of dissemination, evidenced by review articles or chapters in books.
  • The scholarship of application, evidenced by the presentation or publication at local, state, regional or national professional or scientific conferences.

To learn more about the program, see Curriculum or visit our Catalog.