By Janet Corral, PhD,
and Eva Aagaard, MD
Best Evidence Medical Education
(BEME) consists of reviews of the health professions education literature on
key topics, in order to inform educational practice and leadership. BEME
reviews are conducted by voluntary teams of medical education scholars from
around the world. When the nonprofit BEME board receives a topic proposal, the
board ensures the ability of the voluntary team members to complete an
effective review by assessing the team members and the proposed review process.
Once the proposal is accepted, the protocol is returned to the team to
implement the review. See the 40 BEME
reviews that have been published to date.
How does BEME relate to my work as an educator and
BEME reviews provide evidence-based guidance related to
teaching strategies and methods, curriculum design questions, assessment
practices and curriculum/program evaluation. BEME reviews are an addition to
the social science discipline knowledge that informs medical education
Examples of BEME reviews that are
directly helpful to educators and scholars:
How does BEME relate to my work as an educational leader?
It relates to your work in two ways. First, as with
educators and scholars, the BEME reviews provide direct reviews of the evidence
with clear answers regarding many of the teaching and evaluation practices in
medical education, as well as regarding student issues. In this regard, BEME
reviews can be very helpful for committees: rather than having to conduct a
literature review from scratch, committees can consider the analyzed results of
the peer-reviewed literature to answer key questions.
Second, many BEME reviews have focused on systems-level
topics, or topics relevant to administrative leaders. The results can be used
to inform decision-making and program planning (or renewal). For example:
How are medical students’ career decisions formed?
Should we invest in an audience response system?
How are the relationships between medical education
programs and communities perceived by stakeholders?
Should admissions use the multiple mini-interview format,
or a traditional method for selecting students?
What contributes to effective faculty development?
Can I do a BEME review?
Absolutely! The University of Colorado School of Medicine’s
Academy of Medical Educators is one of the 19 international BEME collaboration
sites. We peer review the protocols as well as participate in the BEME
governance committees. There are multiple accepted forms of BEME review,
including systematic review, realist synthesis review, effectiveness review,
scoping review and definitional review. Each form engages a logical and
explicit appraisal of available information to determine the best evidence
relating to an issue in medical education.
BEME workshop coming soon
A workshop on conducting a BEME review will be offered this
winter. Please see the Faculty
Affairs workshop registration page in November for details.