#KeyLIMEPodcast 108: Do you need a masters degree in #meded

Well, the sabbatical is over, and we are back at full strength here at the ICE blog.

We’ve also had a reorganization of some of the critical members of the editorial board.  Lana Dixon has taken a position in the music industry (very jealous… and hoping for comp’d backstage passes… hint hint).  Please join me in thanking Lana for her tremendous commitment to the ICE blog, her organizational and logistical abilities helped our authors reach you.

Returning as the blog administrator is Mélanie Agnew. Please welcome Mélanie… and be nice.  She is the only one who knows all the passwords 🙂

The KeyLIME podcast this week looks at certification in medical education.  As usual, you can scan the abstract below, but I would encourage you to get better analysis of the paper by listening to the podcast here.

Let us know what you think.  Do you have a grad degree? Do you have another type of certification / training? Do you think formal certification is necessary for a career in med ed?

– Jonathan (@sherbino)


KeyLIME Session 108 – Article under review:

Listen to the podcast

View/download the abstract here.


Sethi A, Schofield S, Ajjawi R, McAleer S. 2016. How do postgraduate qualifications in medical education impact on health professionals?. Medical Teacher. 38 (2):162-7

Reviewer: Linda Snell (@lindasmeded)



Medical education has become increasingly professionalized over the past few decades and as part of this advanced training in the area has become more common. Reasons for doing an advanced degree in MedEd include providing a foundation in education, improving education practice, engaging in education leadership or scholarship, or having a degree for career advancement or accreditation. However there is scant evidence to suggest that these degrees are ‘effective’ or achieve these goals.


  1. Evaluate the impact of qualifications in MedEd on graduates’ practices and involvement in education
  2. Look at differences in outcomes among different levels of training
  3. Look at impact of age and nationality on outcomes

Type of paper

Research: program evaluation, survey, mixed methods

Key Points on the Methods

Online survey with Likert scale and open responses addressing  (a) preparedness to practice on a 1-5 scale) 6 education competencies ( interactive teaching, needs assessment / curriculum planning, using valid and reliable assessment methods, plan and lead change, provide effective feedback, engage in rigorous MedEd research ) and frequency of involvement on a 1-4 scale in education research and scholarship (defined as ‘engage in education-related dialogue’, contribute to the MedEd literature, attend  MedEd seminars or conferences, present at such events, conduct professional development workshops).

Sent to 1006 ‘recent’ grads (1-5 years out) of certificate/diploma/master’s program from one UK university. 500 received, 224 responded. Nonparametric stats.

Key Conclusions

Qualification significantly improved self-efficacy in education practice and scholarly engagement, provided a sense of legitimacy and community.

Master’s grads had more confidence and more scholarly output.  There was no difference in improvement in age (experience) of grads but international grads report greater impact.

Spare Keys – other take home points for clinician educators

A example of a useful program evaluation, but would have been more useful with a longer retrospective view when looking at scholarly output (which takes time) and at more than one program.

A good review of the various routes to prepare for a career in MedEd.

Shout out

Shout out to Yvonne Steinert and Ara Tekian for their contributions here.

Listen to the podcast here