Maintenance Note

On Friday, August 31, 2018 at 12:00 pm Eastern Time, JMIR will be completing a server migration to improve site stability and user experience. We expect to be back online Friday, August 31, 2018 at 5:00 pm Eastern Time. Should any problems arise our technical team will be using the weekend to resolve them, and users will be able to access our site by Sunday, September 2, 2018 at 1:00pm Eastern Time.

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Journal Description

JMIR Medical Education (JME) is a Pubmed-indexed, peer-reviewed journal with focus on technology, innovation and openess in medical education. Another focus is on how to train health professionals in the use of digital tools. We publish original research, reviews, viewpoint and policy papers on innovation and technology in medical education. As an open access journal we have a special interest in open and free tools and digitial learning objects for medical education, and urge authors to make their tools and learning objects freely available (we may also publish them as Multimedia Appendix). We also invite submissions of non-conventional articles (eg, open medical education material and software resources that are not yet evaluated but free for others to use/implement). 

In our "Students' Corner", we invite students and trainees in the health professions to submit short essays and viewpoints on all aspects of medical education, but in particular suggestions on how to improve medical education, and suggestions for new technologies, applications and approaches (no article processing fees).

A sister journal of the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR), a leading eHealth journal (Impact Factor 2017: 4.671), the scope of JME is broader and includes non-Internet approaches to improve education, training and assessment for medical professionals and allied health professions.

Articles published in JME will be submitted to PubMed and Pubmed Central. JME is open access.

 

Recent Articles:

  • Source: Pixabay; Copyright: rawpixel; URL: https://pixabay.com/en/break-business-cafe-coffee-shop-2642605/; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    Expanding Opportunities for Professional Development: Utilization of Twitter by Early Career Women in Academic Medicine and Science

    Abstract:

    The number of women entering medical school and careers in science is increasing; however, women remain the minority of those in senior faculty and leadership positions. Barriers contributing to the shortage of women in academics and academic leadership are numerous, including a shortage of role models and mentors. Thus, achieving equity in a timelier manner will require more than encouraging women to pursue these fields of study or waiting long enough for those in the pipelines to be promoted. Social media provides new ways to connect and augments traditional forms of communication. These alternative avenues may allow women in academic medicine to obtain the support they are otherwise lacking. In this perspective, we reflect on the role of Twitter as a supplemental method for navigating the networks of academic medicine. The discussion includes the use of Twitter to obtain (1) access to role models, (2) peer-to-peer interactions, and continuous education, and (3) connections with those entering the pipeline—students, trainees, and mentees. This perspective also offers suggestions for developing a Twitter network. By participating in the “Twittersphere,” women in academic medicine may enhance personal and academic relationships that will assist in closing the gender divide.

  • Source: Freepik; Copyright: Freepik; URL: https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/woman-medic-and-patient-in-hallway_1815005.htm; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Development of a Web-Based Formative Self-Assessment Tool for Physicians to Practice Breaking Bad News (BRADNET)

    Abstract:

    Background: Although most physicians in medical settings have to deliver bad news, the skills of delivering bad news to patients have been given insufficient attention. Delivering bad news is a complex communication task that includes verbal and nonverbal skills, the ability to recognize and respond to patients’ emotions and the importance of considering the patient’s environment such as culture and social status. How bad news is delivered can have consequences that may affect patients, sometimes over the long term. Objective: This project aimed to develop a Web-based formative self-assessment tool for physicians to practice delivering bad news to minimize the deleterious effects of poor way of breaking bad news about a disease, whatever the disease. Methods: BReaking bAD NEws Tool (BRADNET) items were developed by reviewing existing protocols and recommendations for delivering bad news. We also examined instruments for assessing patient-physician communications and conducted semistructured interviews with patients and physicians. From this step, we selected specific themes and then pooled these themes before consensus was achieved on a good practices communication framework list. Items were then created from this list. To ensure that physicians found BRADNET acceptable, understandable, and relevant to their patients’ condition, the tool was refined by a working group of clinicians familiar with delivering bad news. The think-aloud approach was used to explore the impact of the items and messages and why and how these messages could change physicians’ relations with patients or how to deliver bad news. Finally, formative self-assessment sessions were constructed according to a double perspective of progression: a chronological progression of the disclosure of the bad news and the growing difficulty of items (difficulty concerning the expected level of self-reflection). Results: The good practices communication framework list comprised 70 specific issues related to breaking bad news pooled into 8 main domains: opening, preparing for the delivery of bad news, communication techniques, consultation content, attention, physician emotional management, shared decision making, and the relationship between the physician and the medical team. After constructing the items from this list, the items were extensively refined to make them more useful to the target audience, and one item was added. BRADNET contains 71 items, each including a question, response options, and a corresponding message, which were divided into 8 domains and assessed with 12 self-assessment sessions. The BRADNET Web-based platform was developed according to the cognitive load theory and the cognitive theory of multimedia learning. Conclusions: The objective of this Web-based assessment tool was to create a “space” for reflection. It contained items leading to self-reflection and messages that introduced recommended communication behaviors. Our approach was innovative as it provided an inexpensive distance-learning self-assessment tool that was manageable and less time-consuming for physicians with often overwhelming schedules.

  • Source: Pixabay; Copyright: StockSnap; URL: https://pixabay.com/en/mobile-phone-gadget-apple-2598295/; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    How an Environment of Stress and Social Risk Shapes Student Engagement With Social Media as Potential Digital Learning Platforms: Qualitative Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Social media has been increasingly used as a learning tool in medical education. Specifically, when joining university, students often go through a phase of adjustment, and they need to cope with various challenges such as leaving their families and friends and trying to fit into a new environment. Research has shown that social media helps students to connect with old friends and to establish new relationships. However, managing friendships on social media might intertwine with the new learning environment that shapes students’ online behaviors. Especially, when students perceive high levels of social risks when using social media, they may struggle to take advantage of the benefits that social media can provide for learning. Objective: This study aimed to develop a model that explores the drivers and inhibitors of student engagement with social media during their university adjustment phase. Methods: We used a qualitative method by interviewing 78 undergraduate students studying medical courses at UK research-focused universities. In addition, we interviewed 6 digital technology experts to provide additional insights into students’ learning behaviors on social media. Results: Students’ changing relationships and new academic environment in the university adjustment phase led to various factors that affected their social media engagement. The main drivers of social media engagement were maintaining existing relationships, building new relationships, and seeking academic support. Simultaneously, critical factors that inhibited the use of social media for learning emerged, namely, collapsed online identity, uncertain group norms, the desire to present an ideal self, and academic competition. These inhibitors led to student stress when managing their social media accounts, discouraged them from actively engaging on social media, and prevented the full exploitation of social media as an effective learning tool. Conclusions: This study identified important drivers and inhibitors for students to engage with social media platforms as learning tools. Although social media supported students to manage their relationships and support their learning, the interaction of critical factors, such as collapsed online identity, uncertain group norms, the desire to present an ideal self, and academic competition, caused psychological stress and impeded student engagement. Future research should explore how these inhibitors can be removed to reduce students’ stress and to increase the use of social media for learning. More specifically, such insights will allow students to take full advantage of being connected, thus facilitating a richer learning experience during their university life.

  • Source: Freepik; Copyright: Teerawut Masawat; URL: https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/doctor-writing-a-prescription_977807.htm; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Resident and Attending Physicians’ Perceptions of Patient Access to Provider Notes: Comparison of Perceptions Prior to Pilot Implementation

    Abstract:

    Background: As electronic health records have become a more integral part of a physician’s daily life, new electronic health record tools will continue to be rolled out to trainees. Patient access to provider notes is becoming a more widespread practice because this has been shown to increase patient empowerment. Objective: In this analysis, we compared differences between resident and attending physicians’ perceptions prior to implementation of patient access to provider notes to facilitate optimal use of electronic health record features and as a potential for patient empowerment. Methods: This was a single-site study within an academic internal medicine program. Prior to implementation of patient access to provider notes, we surveyed resident and attending physicians to assess differences in perceptions of this new electronic health record tool using an open access survey provided by OpenNotes. Results: We surveyed 37% (20/54 total) of resident physicians and obtained a 100% response rate and 72% (31/44 total) of attending physicians. Similarities between the groups included concerns about documenting sensitive topics and anticipation of improved patient engagement. Compared with attending physicians, resident physicians were more concerned about litigation, discussing weight, offending patients, and communicated less overall with patients through electronic health record. Conclusions: Patient access to provider notes has the potential to empower patients but concerns of the resident physicians need to be validated and addressed prior to its utilization.

  • A medical student viewing the Human Body Block resource page of the CU School of Medicine Wiki (montage). Source: University of Colorado / Placeit.net; Copyright: The Authors; URL: http://mededu.jmir.org/2018/1/e16/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Taking Constructivism One Step Further: Post Hoc Analysis of a Student-Created Wiki

    Abstract:

    Background: Wiki platform use has potential to improve student learning by improving engagement with course material. A student-created wiki was established to serve as a repository of study tools for students in a medical school curriculum. There is a scarcity of information describing student-led creation of wikis in medical education. Objective: The aim is to characterize website traffic of a student-created wiki and evaluate student perceptions of usage via a short anonymous online survey. Methods: Website analytics were used to track visitation statistics to the wiki and a survey was distributed to assess ease of use, interest in contributing to the wiki, and suggestions for improvement. Results: Site traffic data indicated high usage, with a mean of 315 (SD 241) pageviews per day from July 2011 to March 2013 and 74,317 total user sessions. The mean session duration was 1.94 (SD 1.39) minutes. Comparing Fall 2011 to Fall 2012 sessions revealed a large increase in returning visitors (from 12,397 to 20,544, 65.7%) and sessions via mobile devices (831 to 1560, 87.7%). The survey received 164 responses; 88.0% (162/184) were aware of the wiki at the time of the survey. On average, respondents felt that the wiki was more useful in the preclinical years (mean 2.73, SD 1.25) than in the clinical years (mean 1.88, SD 1.12; P<.001). Perceived usefulness correlated with the percent of studying for which the respondent used electronic resources (Spearman ρ=.414, P<.001). Conclusions: Overall, the wiki was a highly utilized, although informal, part of the curriculum with much room for improvement and future exploration.

  • Medical student studying online material in radiology course. Source: UC Riverside School of Medicine; Copyright: UC Riverside School of Medicine; URL: http://mededu.jmir.org/2018/1/e14/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    An Internet-Based Radiology Course in Medical School: Comparison of Academic Performance of Students on Campus Versus Those With Absenteeism Due to Residency...

    Abstract:

    Background: Imaging and its optimal use are imperative to the practice of medicine, yet many students don’t receive a formal education in radiology. Concurrently, students look for ways to take time away from medical school for residency interviewing. Web-based instruction provides an opportunity to combine these imperatives using online modalities. Objective: A largely Web-based course in radiology during the 4th year of medical school was evaluated both for its acceptance to students who needed to be away from campus for interviews, and its effectiveness on a nationally administered standardized test. Methods: All students were placed into a structured program utilizing online videos, online modules, online textbook assignments, and live interactive online lectures. Over half of the course could be completed away from campus. The Alliance of Medical Student Educators in Radiology test exam bank was used as a final exam to evaluate medical knowledge. Results: Positive student feedback included the freedom to travel for interviews, hands-on ultrasound training, interactive teaching sessions, and quality Web-based learning modules. Negative feedback included taking quizzes in-person, a perceived outdated online textbook, and physically shadowing hospital technicians. Most students elected to take the course during the interview months of October through January. The Alliance of Medical Student Educators in Radiology final exam results (70.5%) were not significantly different than the national cohort (70%) who took the course in-person. Test scores from students taking the course during interview travel months were not significantly different from students who took the course before (P=.30) or after (P=.34) the interview season. Conclusions: Students desire to learn radiology and often choose to do so when they need to be away from campus during the fall of their 4th year of study to accomplish their residency interviews. Web-based education in radiology allows students’ interview traveling and radiology course objectives to be successfully met without adversely affecting the outcomes on a nationally normed examination in radiology. A curriculum that includes online content and live Web-based teleconference access to faculty can accomplish both imperatives.

  • Postgraduate medical e-learning. Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL: http://mededu.jmir.org/2018/1/e13/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Consensus on Quality Indicators of Postgraduate Medical E-Learning: Delphi Study

    Abstract:

    Background: The progressive use of e-learning in postgraduate medical education calls for useful quality indicators. Many evaluation tools exist. However, these are diversely used and their empirical foundation is often lacking. Objective: We aimed to identify an empirically founded set of quality indicators to set the bar for “good enough” e-learning. Methods: We performed a Delphi procedure with a group of 13 international education experts and 10 experienced users of e-learning. The questionnaire started with 57 items. These items were the result of a previous literature review and focus group study performed with experts and users. Consensus was met when a rate of agreement of more than two-thirds was achieved. Results: In the first round, the participants accepted 37 items of the 57 as important, reached no consensus on 20, and added 15 new items. In the second round, we added the comments from the first round to the items on which there was no consensus and added the 15 new items. After this round, a total of 72 items were addressed and, of these, 37 items were accepted and 34 were rejected due to lack of consensus. Conclusions: This study produced a list of 37 items that can form the basis of an evaluation tool to evaluate postgraduate medical e-learning. This is, to our knowledge, the first time that quality indicators for postgraduate medical e-learning have been defined and validated. The next step is to create and validate an e-learning evaluation tool from these items.

  • Surgical knot tying. Source: US Air Force; Copyright: Benjamin Silva; URL: http://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/134877/air-force-doctors-perform-alternative-back-surgery/; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    Instructional Video and Medical Student Surgical Knot-Tying Proficiency: Randomized Controlled Trial

    Abstract:

    Background: Many senior medical students lack simple surgical and procedural skills such as knot tying. Objective: The aim of this study was to determine whether viewing a Web-based expert knot-tying training video, in addition to the standard third-year medical student curriculum, will result in more proficient surgical knot tying. Methods: At the start of their obstetrics and gynecology clerkship, 45 students were videotaped tying surgical knots for 2 minutes using a board model. Two blinded female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery physicians evaluated proficiency with a standard checklist (score range 0-16) and anchored scoring scale (range 0-20); higher numbers represent better skill. Students were then randomized to either (1) expert video (n=26) or (2) nonvideo (n=24) groups. The video group was provided unlimited access to an expert knot-tying instructional video. At the completion of the clerkship, students were again videotaped and evaluated. Results: At initial evaluation, preclerkship cumulative scores (range 0-36) on the standard checklist and anchored scale were not significantly different between the nonvideo and video groups (mean 20.3, SD 7.1 vs mean 20.2, SD 9.2, P=.90, respectively). Postclerkship scores improved in both the nonvideo and video groups (mean 28.4, SD 5.4, P<.001 and mean 28.7, SD 6.5, P=.004, respectively). Increased knot board practice was significantly correlated with higher postclerkship scores on the knot-tying task, but only in the video group (r=.47, P<.05). Conclusions: The addition of a Web-based expert instructional video to a standard curriculum, coupled with knot board practice, appears to have a positive impact on medical student knot-tying proficiency.

  • Source: Flickr; Copyright: DFID; URL: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dfid/16615636819; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Jordan Field Epidemiology Training Program: Critical Role in National and Regional Capacity Building

    Abstract:

    Field Epidemiology Training Programs (FETPs) are 2-year training programs in applied epidemiology, established with the purpose of increasing a country’s capacity within the public health workforce to detect and respond to health threats and develop internal expertise in field epidemiology. The Jordan Ministry of Health, in partnership with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, started the Jordan FETP (J-FETP) in 1998. Since then, it has achieved a high standard of success and has been established as a model for FETPs in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Here we describe the J-FETP, its role in building the epidemiologic capacity of Jordan’s public health workforce, and its activities and achievements, which have grown the program to be self-sustaining within the Jordan Ministry of Health. Since its inception, the program’s residents and graduates have assisted the country to improve its surveillance systems, including revising the mortality surveillance policy, implementing the use of electronic data reporting, investigating outbreaks at national and regional levels, contributing to noncommunicable disease research and surveillance, and responding to regional emergencies and disasters. J-FETP’s structure and systems of support from the Jordan Ministry of Health and local, regional, and international partners have contributed to the success and sustainability of the J-FETP. The J-FETP has contributed significantly to improvements in surveillance systems, control of infectious diseases, outbreak investigations, and availability of reliable morbidity and mortality data in Jordan. Moreover, the program has supported public health and epidemiology in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Best practices of the J-FETP can be applied to FETPs throughout the world.

  • A researcher examining how online lectures have been integrated into medical school curricula (montage). Source: The Authors / Placeit.net; Copyright: JMIR Publications; URL: http://mededu.jmir.org/2018/1/e11/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Online Lectures in Undergraduate Medical Education: Scoping Review

    Abstract:

    Background: The adoption of the flipped classroom in undergraduate medical education calls on students to learn from various self-paced tools—including online lectures—before attending in-class sessions. Hence, the design of online lectures merits special attention, given that applying multimedia design principles has been shown to enhance learning outcomes. Objective: The aim of this study was to understand how online lectures have been integrated into medical school curricula, and whether published literature employs well-accepted principles of multimedia design. Methods: This scoping review followed the methodology outlined by Arksey and O'Malley (2005). Databases, including MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Education Source, FRANCIS, ERIC, and ProQuest, were searched to find articles from 2006 to 2016 related to online lecture use in undergraduate medical education. Results: In total, 45 articles met our inclusion criteria. Online lectures were used in preclinical and clinical years, covering basic sciences, clinical medicine, and clinical skills. The use of multimedia design principles was seldom reported. Almost all studies described high student satisfaction and improvement on knowledge tests following online lecture use. Conclusions: Integration of online lectures into undergraduate medical education is well-received by students and appears to improve learning outcomes. Future studies should apply established multimedia design principles to the development of online lectures to maximize their educational potential.

  • Residents using the smartphone application on their phone for education. Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL: http://mededu.jmir.org/2018/1/e10/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Improving Internal Medicine Residents’ Colorectal Cancer Screening Knowledge Using a Smartphone App: Pilot Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common type of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. About one in three adults in the United States is not getting the CRC screening as recommended. Internal medicine residents are deficient in CRC screening knowledge. Objective: The objective of our study was to assess the improvement in internal medicine residents’ CRC screening knowledge via a pilot approach using a smartphone app. Methods: We designed a questionnaire based on the CRC screening guidelines of the American Cancer Society, American College of Gastroenterology, and US Preventive Services Task Force. We emailed the questionnaire via a SurveyMonkey link to all the residents of an internal medicine department to assess their knowledge of CRC screening guidelines. Then we designed an educational intervention in the form of a smartphone app containing all the knowledge about the CRC screening guidelines. The residents were introduced to the app and asked to download it onto their smartphones. We repeated the survey to test for changes in the residents’ knowledge after publication of the smartphone app and compared the responses with the previous survey. We applied the Pearson chi-square test and the Fisher exact test to look for statistical significance. Results: A total of 50 residents completed the first survey and 41 completed the second survey after publication of the app. Areas of CRC screening that showed statistically significant improvement (P<.05) were age at which CRC screening was started in African Americans, preventive tests being ordered first, identification of CRC screening tests, identification of preventive and detection methods, following up positive tests with colonoscopy, follow-up after colonoscopy findings, and CRC surveillance in diseases. Conclusions: In this modern era of smartphones and gadgets, developing a smartphone-based app or educational tool is a novel idea and can help improve residents’ knowledge about CRC screening.

  • The interactive multimedia module, featuring a game-based quiz (montage). Source: The Authors / Magic Mockups; Copyright: JMIR Publications; URL: http://mededu.jmir.org/2018/1/e8/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Mobile Technology in E-Learning for Undergraduate Medical Education on Emergent Otorhinolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery Disorders: Pilot Randomized...

    Abstract:

    Background: The use of mobile technology in e-learning (M-TEL) can add new levels of experience and significantly increase the attractiveness of e-learning in medical education. Whether an innovative interactive e-learning multimedia (IM) module or a conventional PowerPoint show (PPS) module using M-TEL to teach emergent otorhinolaryngology–head and neck surgery (ORL-HNS) disorders is feasible and efficient in undergraduate medical students is unknown. Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the impact of a novel IM module with a conventional PPS module using M-TEL for emergent ORL-HNS disorders with regard to learning outcomes, satisfaction, and learning experience. Methods: This pilot study was conducted at an academic teaching hospital and included 24 undergraduate medical students who were novices in ORL-HNS. The cognitive style was determined using the Group Embedded Figures Test. The participants were randomly allocated (1:1) to one of the two groups matched by age, sex, and cognitive style: the IM group and the PPS group. During the 100-min learning period, the participants were unblinded to use the IM or PPS courseware on a 7-inch tablet. Pretests and posttests using multiple-choice questions to evaluate knowledge and multimedia situational tests to evaluate competence were administered. Participants evaluated their satisfaction and learning experience by the AttrakDiff2 questionnaire, and provided feedback about the modules. Results: Overall, the participants had significant gains in knowledge (median of percentage change 71, 95% CI 1-100, P<.001) and competence (median of percentage change 25, 95% CI 0-33, P=.007) after 100 min of learning. Although there was no significant difference in knowledge gain between the two groups (median of difference of percentage change 24, 95% CI −75 to 36; P=.55), competence gain was significantly lower in the IM group compared with the PPS group (median of difference of percentage change −41, 95% CI −67 to −20; P=.008). However, the IM group had significantly higher scores of satisfaction (difference 2, 95% CI 2-4; P=.01), pragmatic quality (difference 1.7, 95% CI 0.1-2.7; P=.03), and hedonic stimulation (difference 1.9, 95% CI 0.3-3.1; P=.01) compared with the PPS group. Qualitative feedback indicated that the various games in the IM module attracted the participants’ attention but that the nonlinearly arranged materials affected their learning. Conclusions: Using M-TEL for undergraduate medical education on emergent ORL-HNS disorders, an IM module seems to be useful for gaining knowledge, but competency may need to occur elsewhere. While the small sample size reduces the statistical power of our results, its design seems to be appropriate to determine the effects of M-TEL using a larger group. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02971735; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02971735 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6waoOpCEV)

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