News Archive 2014

Medical Professionalism to be examined through new research projects

Friday, 05 December, 2014 

Professor Eilish McAuliffe, UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems.

Professor Eilish McAuliffe, UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems.

Two new projects will benefit from a €300,000 investment to address policy needs in medical education research and foster research capacity in this sector in Ireland.

Medical education research is a complex and largely under researched field. It demands expertise from a broad skills base from clinical practitioners to educationalists, psychologists and management scientists. Through this scheme the HRB, HSE National Doctors Training and Planning (NDTP) and the Medical Council have been actively brokering collaborations and partnerships across disciplines to ensure workable and internationally benchmarked studies could be funded.

Two new projects are each set to receive €150,000 in funding over the next two years to tackle key challenges in this area. The HRB, Medical Council and HSE NDTP unit will all invest €50,000 in each project.

The first project, led by Professor Eilish McAuliffe, UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems, will develop a ‘learning in action’ research model targeted at medical interns and senior doctors to enhance medical professionalism. It will take the form of an interactive simulation of professionalism dilemmas and series of workshops that raises awareness about medical professionalism and allows participants to debate dilemmas and concerns faced by interns in terms of how to deal with poor professional practice among colleagues. The impact of this will then be measured through a cohort study which will follow interns reporting of concerns, errors and incidents and how the hospital has responded to this.

The second project, led by Dr Deirdre Bennett in University College Cork, will aim to provide an overview of the opportunities and challenges that exist for trainee doctors’ learning, while working in clinical environments. She will examine three separate areas with a view to defining practical recommendations for policy and practice.

According to Graham Love, Chief Executive of the Health Research Board,

‘The health system in Ireland is embarking on the most ambitious and challenging programme of reform in the history of the State.  The success of the programme is dependent on developing a fit-for-purpose health workforce.  Research in medical education is critical to improving the medical profession, advancing health services delivery and ensuring better outcomes for the public. That is why the HRB are joining forces with the Medical Council and HSE’s National Doctors Training and Planning to improve capacity to conduct high quality research in this area in Ireland.’