June 2016 | Issue 24
Transitioning from the clinic to medical education research





By Dr Lucy Rosby
Senior Research Fellow, MERSU


When I embarked on my medical education research journey at LKCMedicine, I knew I had a lot to learn. Although related to medicine in context, it is a different world to the clinical one I had become accustomed to as a practising doctor in the UK.

Research has always been a passion of mine. I was involved in several research projects during my Master’s degree in genetics, which I completed as part of my medical degree intercalation (a period when medical students pursue a separate but related research degree before resuming their medical studies) at The Centre for Life in the UK, a world-leading centre for genetics and research. However, most of these projects involved laboratory work and quantitative methods – a very different prospect from the qualitative nature that extends throughout much of medical education research. Focus groups, visual methods, coding, discourse analysis, and grounded theory replaced hypotheses, PCR experiments, Western blots, statistical analysis and population studies.

Medical education research brings together my passions for medicine, research and working with people. I love that so much of it involves understanding the experience of the participants – our students at LKCMedicine – and how this experience could help shape their education and inspire like-minded people in the medical education community. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to gain a personal insight into the lives of our students through individual interviews, observations and photo-elicitation, to name a few of the methods I have been exposed to.

I didn’t imagine that I would be working in medical education research, striving to impact the learning and lives of medical students, and ultimately improving patient care – but I’m so pleased to be a part of the LKCMedicine story. Having been a medical student myself, I appreciate the importance of enhancing the education that students receive in order to produce more confident, competent junior doctors who will care for their patients with professionalism and compassion.