JMIR Medical Education

Technology, innovation, and openness in medical education in the information age

Editor-in-Chief:

Janet Corral, PhD, Associate Dean, Curricular Affairs, Medical Student Education; Associate Professor, College of Medicine, University of Arizona - Tucson

Nabil Zary, MD, PhD, Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Science, Dubai, UAE


JMIR Medical Education (JME) is an open access, peer-reviewed journal with a focus on technology, innovation and openess in medical education. The journal is also interested in the training of health professionals in the usage 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 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 a 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 from various health professions to submit short essays and viewpoints on all aspects of medical education. In particular, we welcome suggestions on how to improve medical education, new technologies, applications and approaches. There are currently no article processing fees for papers accepted for "Students' Corner". 

Articles published in JME are indexed in PubMed and Scopus. 

Recent Articles

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New Methods and Approaches in Medical Education

The arts and humanities have been integrated into medical student education worldwide. Integrated arts and humanities courses have been found to serve four primary functions: mastering skills, perspective taking, personal insight, and social advocacy. To what extent and how arts and humanities programs achieve these educational outcomes remain unclear.

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Graduate and Postgraduate Education for Health Professionals

Current research suggests that there is a nuanced relationship between mental well-being and social media. Social media offers opportunities for empowerment, information, and connection while also showing links with depression, high-risk behavior, and harassment. As this medium rapidly integrates into interpersonal interactions, incorporation of social media assessment into the psychiatric evaluation warrants attention. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic and containment measures (ie, social distancing) led to increased dependence on social media, allowing an opportunity to assess the adaptation of psychiatric interviews in response to sociocultural changes.

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Graduate and Postgraduate Education for Health Professionals

The exceptional competitiveness of the orthopedic surgery specialty, combined with the unclear impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on residency recruitment, has presented significant challenges to applicants and residency program directors. With limited in-person opportunities in the 2020-2021 application cycle, applicants have been pressed to gauge chances and best fit by browsing program websites.

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Undergraduate Education for Future Doctors

Gaming is a billion-dollar industry that is expanding at a compound annual growth rate of 9% to 14.3%, with the biggest market in Southeast Asian countries. The availability of low-cost smartphones and the ease at which the internet can be accessed have made gaming popular among youth, who enjoy it as a leisure activity. According to the World Health Organization, excessive indulgence in gaming can lead to gaming disorder. Medical students indulging in excessive gaming can succumb to gaming disorder, which can affect their scholastic performance.

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Health Professionals' Training in eHealth, Digital Medicine, Medical Informatics

Digital health technologies and apps are rapidly advancing in recent years. It is expected to have more roles in transforming the health care system in this era of digital services. However, limited research is available regarding delivering digital health education in pharmacy and the pharmacy students’ perspectives on digital health.

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Viewpoint and Opinions on Innovation in Medical Education

Like other aspects of the health care system, medical education has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. To follow the requirements of lockdown and virtual education, the performance of students has been evaluated via web-based examinations. Although this shift to web-based examinations was inevitable, other mental, educational, and technical aspects should be considered to ensure the efficiency and accuracy of this type of evaluation in this era. The easiest way to address the new challenges is to administer traditional questions via a web-based platform. However, more factors should be accounted for when designing web-based examinations during the COVID-19 era. This article presents an approach in which the opportunity created by the pandemic is used as a basis to reconsider learning as the main goal of web-based examinations. The approach suggests using open-book examinations, using questions that require high cognitive domains, using real clinical scenarios, developing more comprehensive examination blueprints, using advanced platforms for web-based questions, and providing feedback in web-based examinations to ensure that the examinees have acquired the minimum competency levels defined in the course objectives.

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Graduate and Postgraduate Education for Health Professionals

Medical research plays a significant role in advancing the level of health care worldwide. This research is a crucial part of the development of any educational system. In developing countries, the publication rate related to the medical sciences is lower than that in developed countries.

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Students' Corner

The UK Foundation Programme Office has announced that medical students graduating from 2023 onward will not receive Foundation Programme Application System points for additional degrees or journal publications. In this viewpoint paper, we acknowledge the reasons for this decision, such as socioeconomically advantaged students having greater access to these achievements and the promotion of intercalated degrees for the sake of point accumulation. Additionally, the predictive value of these achievements with regard to junior doctors’ performance has been questioned when compared to that of other Foundation Programme Application System components. Conversely, we also highlight the drawbacks of the UK Foundation Programme Office’s decision, since this might discourage medical students from completing additional degrees and attempting to publish their work, thereby resulting in clinicians with little to no academic experience or interest. Finally, we attempt to provide suggestions for future improvements in this system by analyzing different medical schools’ approaches, such as the BMedSci Honors program offered at Nottingham University. Furthermore, promoting and supporting engagement with academia, especially among socioeconomically disadvantaged students, are the responsibility of all medical schools; such actions are needed in order to produce doctors who are both clinically and academically competent. We conclude that the aforementioned changes should only affect new cohorts in the interest of universities’ transparency and fairness to their students.

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Undergraduate Education for Allied Health Professionals

The digital revolution is rapidly transforming health care and clinical teaching and learning. Relative to other medical fields, the interdisciplinary fields of speech-language pathology (SLP), phoniatrics, and otolaryngology have been slower to take up digital tools for therapeutic, teaching, and learning purposes—a process that was recently expedited by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although many current teaching and learning tools have restricted or institution-only access, there are many openly accessible tools that have gone largely unexplored. To find, use, and evaluate such resources, it is important to be familiar with the structures, concepts, and formats of existing digital tools.

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Graduate and Postgraduate Education for Health Professionals

Medical resident reading and information-seeking behavior is limited by time constraints as well as comfort in accessing and assessing evidence-based resources. Educational technology interventions, as the preferred method for millennial leaners, can reduce these barriers. We implemented an educational web tool, consisting of peer-reviewed articles as well as local and national protocols and policies, built into the daily workflow of a university-based anesthesiology department. We hypothesized that this web tool would increase resource utilization and overall perceptions of the educational environment.

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Viewpoint and Opinions on Innovation in Medical Education

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced universities worldwide to immediately transition to distance-learning. Although numerous studies have investigated the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on universities in the Middle East, none have reflected on the process through which medical education programs for health professions underwent this transition. This study aimed to elucidate the rapid transition to distance-learning of an undergraduate medical program at the College of Medicine, Mohammad Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (Dubai, United Arab Emirates), owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. An action research approach constituted the foundation of this collaborative effort that involved investigations, reflections, and improvements of practice, through ongoing cycles of planning, acting, observing, and reflecting. Efforts of transitioning to distance-learning were grouped into four interrelated aspects: supporting faculty members in delivering the program content, managing curriculum changes, engaging with the students to facilitate distance-learning experiences, and conducting web-based assessments. Challenges included the high perceived uncertainty, need for making ad hoc decisions, lack of experiential learning and testing of clinical skills, and blurring of work-life boundaries. Our preliminary findings show the successful generation of a strong existing digital base, future prospects for innovation, and a cohesive team that was key to agility, rapid decision-making, and program implementation.

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Health Professionals' Training in eHealth, Digital Medicine, Medical Informatics

Medical schools worldwide are accelerating the introduction of digital health courses into their curricula. The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to this swift and widespread transition to digital health and education. However, the need for digital health competencies goes beyond the COVID-19 pandemic because they are becoming essential for the delivery of effective, efficient, and safe care.

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