Understanding Medical Education: Evidence,Theory and Practice

Author: Tim Swanwick


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  • ISBN: 9781118472408
  • Author: Tim Swanwick
  • Publ Date: 2013-11-29
  • Edition: 2
  • Pages: 520
  • Imprint: WILEY *#
  • Status: ACT
  • ID - 194239

Table of Contents :

Contributors, vii
Foreword, xi
Preface, xiii
Part 1: Foundations, 1
1 Understanding medical education, 3 Tim Swanwick
2 Teaching and learning in medical education: How theory can inform practice, 7 David M Kaufman and Karen V Mann
3 Principles of curriculum design, 31 Janet Grant
4 Quality in medical education, 47 Alan Bleakley, Julie Browne and Kate Ellis
Part 2: Educational Strategies, 61
5 Problem-based learning, 63 Mark A Albanese and Laura C Dast
6 Interprofessional education, 81 Della Freeth
7 Work-based learning, 97 Clare Morris and David Blaney
8 Supervision, mentoring and coaching, 111 John Launer
9 Teaching and leading small groups, 123 Peter McCrorie
10 Lectures and large groups, 137 Andrew Long and Bridget Lock
11 Technology-enhanced learning, 149 Alison Bullock and Peter GM de Jong
12 e-Learning, 161 Scott Rice and Jean McKendree
13 Simulation in medical education, 175 Jean Ker and Paul Bradley
14 Portfolios in personal and professional development, 193 Erik Driessen and Jan van Tartwijk
15 Self-regulated learning in medical education, 201 Casey B White, Larry D Gruppen and Joseph C Fantone
16 Learning medicine from the humanities, 213 J Jill Gordon and H Martyn Evans
17 Patient involvement in medical education, 227 John Spencer and Judy McKimm
Part 3: Assessment, 241
18 How to design a useful test: The principles of assessment, 243 Lambert WT Schuwirth and Cees PM van der Vleuten
19 Written assessment, 255 Brian Jolly
20 Workplace assessment, 279 John J Norcini
21 Structured assessments of clinical competence, 293 Katharine AM Boursicot, Trudie E Roberts and William P Burdick
22 Standard setting methods in medical education, 305 Andre F De Champlain
23 Formative assessment, 317 Diana F Wood
Part 4: Research and Evaluation, 329
24 Thinking about research: Theoretical perspectives, ethics and scholarship, 331 Jan Illing
25 Quantitative research methods in medical education, 349 Geoff Norman and Kevin W Eva
26 Qualitative research in medical education: Methodologies and methods, 371 Stella Ng, Lorelei Lingard and Tara J Kennedy
27 Programme evaluation: Improving practice, influencing policy and decision-making, 385 Chris Lovato and David Wall
Part 5: Staff and Students, 401
28 Selection into medical education and training, 403 Fiona Patterson, Eamonn Ferguson and Alec L Knight
29 Career progression and support, 421 Caroline Elton and Nicole J Borges
30 Managing remediation, 433 Deborah Cohen, Melody Rhydderch and Ian Cooper
31 Dealing with diversity, 445 Antony Americano and Dinesh Bhugra
32 Developing medical educators: A journey, not a destination, 455 Yvonne Steinert
33 Educational leadership, 473 Judy McKimm and Tim Swanwick
Index, 493


In this new and extensively updated second edition, the Association for the Study of Medical Education presents a complete and authoritative guide to medical education. Written by leading experts in the field, Understanding Medical Education provides a comprehensive resource of the theoretical and academic bases to modern medical education practice.

This authoritative and accessible reference is designed to meet the needs of all those working in medical education from undergraduate education through postgraduate training to continuing professional development. As well as providing practical guidance for clinicians, teachers and researchers, Understanding Medical Education will prove an invaluable resource to those studying at certificate, diploma or masters level and a first port-of-call for anyone engaged in medical education as an academic discipline.

Exploring medical education in all its diversity and containing all you need in one place, Understanding Medical Education is the ideal reference not only for medical educators, but for anyone involved in the development of healthcare professionals, in whatever discipline wherever they are in the world.


This is the second edition of the popular, well-read andwell-recognised volume which aims to provide an introduction to the ever important business ofmedical education. Its brief is ambitious. It aims to be a synopsis of educational theory and practice, of useboth to scholarly medical educators and educationalscholars all within an acknowledged context of complexity,contestation and political dialogue. This ambitious brief islargely accomplished. For the reader wishing to access ready andorganised ideas there are boxes with key messages and importantprinciples, but there are also opportunities for the reader withmore substantive concerns to access and engage in competingdiscourses. The latter is nowhere more evident than in the chapteron Quality in medical education by Alan Bleakley, Julie Browne andKate Ellis where it is recognised that quality has competing managerial, economic, scientific, aesthetic,ethical, professional, social and political discourses. Familiarand traditional areas of study are seen through the lens ofcontemporary theory. Clare Morris and David Blaney s accountof Work-based learning, the very nub of medical education, providesa re-interpretation of traditional concepts like the clinicalapprenticeship through the application of theories drawn from thecognitive and social sciences. The coverage of the volume is comprehensive. The authors are atruly international group representing the best writers andthinkers in the discipline. All the major areas of medicaleducation are covered through the five sections of the book:Foundations, Educational Strategies, Assessment, Research andEvaluation and Staff and Students. There are some omissions. Theincreasing adoption of longitudinal integrated clinical clerkshipsand the evidence about their efficacy probably deserves a chapteron its own. Similarly the current concern for medical education todrive the social accountability imperatives of medical schoolsdeserves consideration. Fiona Patterson, Eamonn Ferguson and AlecKnight list political validity as one of the multiplevalidities to be considered in Selection into medical education andtraining. This required stakeholders and stakeholding groups to bedecision-makers in selection. Antony Americano and Dinesh Bhugragive well-constructed account of Dealing with diversity. What ismissing is the synthesing of ideas such as these and application tothe responsibilities of medical schools to their communities intheir selection processes, student population and educationalprograms. The coverage within each section is also comprehensive. The sectionon Assessment can serve as an example. It opens with a chapter onHow to design a useful test: the principles of assessment byLambert Schuwirth and Cess van der Vleuten. Chapters on Writtenassessment by Brian Jolly and Work-place assessment by John Norcinifollow. Structured assessments of clinical competence arecarefully explained by Katharine Boursicot, Trudie Roberts andWilliam Burdick while Andre De Champlain takes up theimportant question of Standard setting methods in medicaleducation. Diana Wood rounds off the section with a considerationof Formative assessment. Both the scholarly medical educators andthe educational scholars have much to gain from reading thissection. There is plenty of contemporary theory, lots of soundadvice and practical tips, tables and examples. There is not muchon assessment that has escaped the collective authors attention and those planning assessment programs would benefit froma close reading. The section could be improved by some conceptualand theoretical linking of the chapters. For example formativeassessment, as discussed in the last chapter, has a particularfunction in programmatic approaches to assessment which is thebasis of the first chapter on the principles of assessment. Someclearer linking would be of benefit. In sum this second edition of Understanding MedicalEducation will prove to be every bit as popular as itpredecessor. It retains the coverage of the field but updates itexpands it and gives it more contemporary justification. It doeswhat its title claims; promote understanding of the major ideas inthis important field. Such an understanding is essential for allthose who work as medical educators whether they be practitioners,clinicians, theorists and academics or those with the good fortuneto perform a combination of these roles. (David Prideaux, Emeritus Professor of Medical Education,School of Medicine, Flinders University, South Australia)

Author Biography:

Professor Tim Swanwick is Dean of Postgraduate MedicalEducation for Health Education North Central and East London, andVisiting Professor of Medical Education at the University ofBedfordshire


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