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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 28-30

How common are experimental designs in medical education? Findings from a bibliometric analysis of recent dissertations and theses

1 Department of Clinical Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA
2 Office of Assessment, Rawls College of Business, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kenneth D Royal
Department of Clinical Sciences, North Carolina State University, 1060 William Moore Dr. Raleigh, NC 27607
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/EHP.EHP_5_18

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Background: There has been a recent influx of researchers in the field of medical education coming from medical and health science backgrounds. Researchers from health fields often misunderstand that studies involving experimental designs are relatively rare throughout educational research. Experts in education research note that experimental designs largely are incompatible with educational studies due to various contextual, legal, and ethical issues. Purpose: We sought to investigate the frequency with which experimental designs have been utilized in recent medical education dissertations and theses. Methods: A bibliometric analysis of dissertations and theses completed in the field of medical education between 2011 and 2016. Results: Fewer than 10% of doctoral dissertations and master's theses involved some type of experimental design. Only 6.12% of all dissertation and master's projects involved randomized experiments. Conclusions: Randomized experiments occur only slightly more frequently in medical education than other educational fields.

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