Sherilyn Smith, MD - University of Washington; Gary L Beck, PhD - University of Nebraska College of Medicine; Jocelyn H Schiller, MD - University of Michigan Medical School; Heather M McLauchlan, MD - University of Illinois College of Medicine, Peoria; Terry Kind, MD, MPH - Children's National/GWU; Joseph Gigante, Vanderbilt University - ; Mitchell Harris, MD - University of Indiana
Background: Scholarly work presented at national meetings is often not published.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to explore whether scholarly work in medical education is further disseminated and what barriers exist.
Design/Methods: COMSEP (Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics) members who presented the scholarly work from 1998-2008 at the COMSEP national meeting received a short questionnaire in Fall 2010 asking whether the work was further disseminated and what barriers to dissemination they encountered. Dissemination was defined as a publication (journal or electronic media) or presentation in an additional forum. For non-responders, researchers searched Pub Med, Google Scholar and Med Ed Portal for other evidence of dissemination. Descriptive statistics and Chi square analysis were calculated to explore variables related to dissemination. Three researchers independently coded free text comments, determined themes and selected representative statements to describe the barriers encountered.
Results: 171 presentations were identified and outcomes were determined for 137/171 projects (80%); 33/35 of oral presentations (88%) and 106/136 (78%) of posters. For the 137 presentations with outcomes, the project types varied: 65 curriculum, 17 evaluation, and 55 research projects. Overall, 67% (89/137) of projects were disseminated, 30% (48/137) were not disseminated and 3% (5/137) were still in progress. There were 46 publications (34%), 8 electronic media (6%) and 42 additional presentations (31%). There were no differences in rates of dissemination for posters vs. presentations, early (pre- 2004) vs. late time periods, or project type. There was no relationship between presentation type (oral vs. poster), project type, and additional dissemination method (publication, additional presentation, electronic media). Barriers to dissemination included adequate time for scholarly work, difficulty identifying methodological resources, lack of financial support and general mentoring.
Conclusions: The majority of projects related to medical education were further disseminated regardless of type of scholarship. Additional resources including mentoring and protected time for scholarly work are needed to overcome barriers to further dissemination after presentation at national meetings.