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Chest. 2012 Nov;142(5):1097-1103. doi: 10.1378/chest.12-0148.

Translational educational research: a necessity for effective health-care improvement.

Author information

Center for Education in Medicine and Department of Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL. Electronic address:
Michael S. Gordon Center for Research in Medical Education and Department of Internal Medicine, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL.
Department of Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL.


Medical education research contributes to translational science (TS) when its outcomes not only impact educational settings, but also downstream results, including better patient-care practices and improved patient outcomes. Simulation-based medical education (SBME) has demonstrated its role in achieving such distal results. Effective TS also encompasses implementation science, the science of health-care delivery. Educational, clinical, quality, and safety goals can only be achieved by thematic, sustained, and cumulative research programs, not isolated studies. Components of an SBME TS research program include motivated learners, curriculum grounded in evidence-based learning theory, educational resources, evaluation of downstream results, a productive research team, rigorous research methods, research resources, and health-care system acceptance and implementation. National research priorities are served from translational educational research. National funding priorities should endorse the contribution and value of translational education research.

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