Masters of Medical Education

The University of Dundee has an international reputation for excellence in medical education. Many of the recent innovations in medical education, such as the OSCE, the mini-CEX, and the spiral curriculum, were developed years ago at the University. Over 2500 physicians and other health professionals are enrolled in the distance-learning program from all over the world. The Masters program gives graduates a thorough understanding of relevant adult education theory, curriculum development and evaluation, learner assessment techniques, instructional design, and teaching techniques.

The Masters Program of the University of Dundee consists of a set of assignments, typically completed in the first year of the Fellowship, with a dissertation describing a medical education research project completed in the second year. The curriculum is designed to produce a well-rounded medical educator who can take a leadership role at the medical school, residency, or continuing medical education level of teaching.

Fellows work together and independently to complete the Masters assignments, which often consist of a project developed at the medical school or residency. Their work to complete the assignments is supported through the Fellowship seminars as well as via one-on-one work with Dr. Shaughnessy. Most assignments result in a tangible work product that results in a change to the curriculum of the medical school or residency teaching programs. Several dissertations have been published in journals.


The goal of the weekly seminars is to discuss and expand upon the material covered in the University of Dundee unit to be covered that week, with exploration of how the material can be applied in our resident and student education. Since the residency is part of the P4 demonstration project, we consider it a laboratory for exploring innovative teaching and curricula, with the goal of creating excellent family medicine physicians.

Dr. Shaughnessy, the Fellowship director, is an internationally-known expert on information mastery, the applied practice of evidence-based medicine. Fellows are given the training and experience to develop curricula and teach information mastery at the student or resident level.

In addition to a firm foundation in medical education theory and practice, leaders in family medicine education require skills and knowledge in other areas. The Fellow Seminar topics (below) focus on developing well-rounded teachers.

Examples of Fellow Seminar Topics

  • Curriculum Development
    • Principles of curriculum development
      Standardizing objective writing
  • Information Mastery
    • Identifying POEMs in the literature
    • Using information tools at the point of care
    • Critical reading of articles about therapy (parts 1, 2, 3)
    • Understanding research results
    • Clinical epidemiology principles
    • Critically reading research about diagnostic tests (parts 1, 2)
    • Understanding sensitivity, specificity, predictive value, likelihood ratios
    • Evaluation sources of expert information
    • Assessing Guidelines
    • Narrative reviews
    • Meta-analysis
  • Understanding health care systems
  • Writing for publication
    • The basics
    • The publication process
    • Writing narrative reviews
    • Writing book reviews
  • Overview of educational research
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Teaching and learning through dialogue and "fierce conversations"
  • Media relations
  • Time management (parts 1, 2)
  • Developing a CV
  • Developing a teaching portfolio
  • Surviving and thriving in academia
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