gms | German Medical Science

12th Graz Conference – Quality of Teaching

18.09. - 20.09.2008 in Graz, Österreich

Training in research methodologies as part of medical education - an evidence-based approach to drawing up recommendations


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  • corresponding author Chris van Schravendijk - Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Diabetes Research Center, Unit of Protein Biochemistry, Brussel, Belgium

12. Grazer Konferenz - Qualität der Lehre: Skills and Attitudes. Graz, Österreich, 18.-20.09.2008. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2009. Doc08grako02

doi: 10.3205/08grako02, urn:nbn:de:0183-08grako027

Received: January 15, 2009
Revised: February 5, 2009
Accepted: February 18, 2009
Published: April 6, 2009

© 2009 van Schravendijk.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.


Over the last 50 years, the medical sciences have been transformed by more and more sophisticated research methodologies. Universities with faculties of sciences have responded to this (r)evolution through the development of educational programs, for example in the fields of biomedicine and bioengineering, that are mainly devoted to the study of concepts and techniques relevant for the cellular and molecular aspects of today’s and tomorrow’s fields of medicine. On the other hand, for medical education in sensu strictu, the patient and its clinical treatment remains at central stage. These developments have provoked a tension between what a basic medical education should contain for every student to become a medical doctor, and what the same curriculum should offer to those students that want to contribute to the medical sciences through basic or applied research. This tension has led to heterogeneity among medical curricula in Europe with respect to the research principles and methodologies that are trained as part of the basic curriculum. The task force on Links between Medical Education and Research of MEDINE (The Thematic Network on Medical Education in Europe), has recently organized an online survey among 91 European Medical Schools. Institutional coordinators were asked to give facts rather than opinions and aspirations. The heterogeneity in European medical education poses a challenge for analysis of such surveys. Data analysis should not compromise the separation of facts and opinions, nor hide interesting correlates behind averages or other simplifications. Using Excel, a mapping methodology was developed which provides a global and individual view on the results of this survey, allows for answer pattern recognition, and gives a basis on which to formulate recommendations. Participants will be given access to the full Taskforce report, discuss the validity of this approach as well as the findings and contribute to drawing up a refined position paper.