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Medical Education Research Laboratory


March 15, 3PM

The goal of a Spotlight lab is to share a methodology that may not be commonly used at BIDMC but is generative in the learning sciences. The quantitative or qualitative method is applicable in medical education research and part of the time is spent discussing an article that highlights the method. We envision sparking interesting lab discussions as everyone makes sense of the method together and considers how it might be utilized (or not!) in future study projects.


For our ‘pilot’ Spotlight lab, we’ll focus on discourse analysis from the field of applied linguistics. Here’s the flow of the session:


  • An introduction and summary of the research article (10 min)

  • Discuss the article and methods as a group (25 min)

  • Facilitator shares a few more slides on how the method is used in other fields in the learning sciences and other articles using the method in med ed research (5-10min)

  • Closing thoughts from everyone (5-10min)

Click HERE for a short article by Branson & Chapman (2018) that used one type of discourse analysis. In the study, Branson & Chapman examined how surgical residents communicate disclosing complications and errors to ‘surrogate’ patient family members in a simulation training. We’ll be discussing this article at our Spotlight Lab on March 15th .  Zoom link will be shared via outlook and email close to the date. Please scan the abstract and join us in a month!


We will also continue our Work-in-Progress sessions. Amy and I will be reaching out to you to see if you’ll like to share your research projects at a future lab session!


-Ling & Amy


The Medical Education Research Laboratory serves as a resource for those interested in conducting rigorous medical education research and aims to augment the rigor of medical education research at BIDMC. Based in the Shapiro Institute for Education and Research, the Medical Education Research Laboratory provides guidance, support, and resources for faculty and trainees in any Division or Department at BIDMC interested in designing and implementing medical education research projects on a range of topics. Our research laboratory provides a space and opportunity for constructive criticism of research projects, generation of ideas for new areas of inquiry, and identification of opportunities for collaboration on research pursuits and extramural funding. 

Our activities include:


  • Holding regular formal laboratory meetings to review faculty research projects

  • Providing a forum for discussion and constructive criticism

  • Providing support for any BIDMC trainee or faculty member interested in developing a medical education research project

  • Identifying opportunities for collaboration

Specific skills emphasized include:


  • Fundamentals of study design

  • Quantitative research methods

  • Qualitative research methods

  • Strategies for data analysis

  • Strategies for publication and dissemination of scholarly research.


Please contact Amy Sullivan (  for more information or with any questions about the Medical Education Research Laboratory.

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