Conducting educational research in medical schools is challenging partly because interventional controlled research designs are difficult to apply. In addition, strict accreditation requirements and student/faculty concerns about educational inequality reduce the flexibility needed to plan and execute educational experiments. Consequently, there is a paucity of rigorous and generalizable educational research to provide an evidence-guided foundation to support educational effectiveness. "Educational epidemiology," ie, the application across the physician education continuum of observational designs (eg, cross-sectional, longitudinal, cohort, and case-control studies) and randomized experimental designs (eg, randomized controlled trials, randomized crossover designs), could revolutionize the conduct of research in medical education. Furthermore, the creation of a comprehensive national network of educational epidemiologists could enhance collaboration and the development of a strong educational research foundation.
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