Donna B. Jeffe, PhDJanice L. Hanson, PhD, EdS, MH

The Medical Education Research Unit (MERU) of the Office of Education at Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM) includes a team of faculty and staff members who provide consultation and research guidance to investigators engaged in medical education research and scholarship activities, as well as assistance with the development and evaluation of educational programs and new curricula. MERU faculty and staff members collaborate with the Program Evaluation and Continuous Quality Improvement (PE/CQI) Unit.

In addition, this educational entity also offers expert guidance with new instrument development and validation, and qualitative research design, as well as opportunities for collaboration in the conduct of medical education research and scholarship at WUSM. MERU faculty members also conduct educational research on the educational progress and career paths of WUSM students and graduates.

Washington University School of Medicine is a BEME International Collaborating Centre (BICC) for the Best Evidence Medical and Health Professional Education (BEME) collaboration. MERU faculty coordinate, write, and synthesize reviews of protocols and papers that report systematic reviews of evidence for best practices in medical and health professional education.

MERU faculty members have extensive experience and expertise in educational and behavioral science, epidemiology, health professions education, program evaluation, interprofessional education, assessment in medical education, survey research, and qualitative research .

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Medical education database

For the past 20 years, Office of Education faculty and staff have been integrally involved in the collection and management of institutional and questionnaire data for routine evaluation of medical student education. These data may be used for program evaluation and for research and scholarship purposes. These data may be used for research/scholarship only after review and approval of MERU faculty and only with Institutional Review Board approval at Washington University Medical Center. Only de-identified data will be shared with investigators for research/scholarship or evaluation purposes.

MERU faculty members have been instrumental in developing a number of questionnaires used to survey our students during medical school and after graduation, as well as questionnaires to survey residents, fellows, and faculty at the Washington University Medical Center. They have built a comprehensive, longitudinal medical education database with data collected from and about all WUSM medical students and graduates. If you are planning a study for which you might want to use the medical education database, please request a consultation with MERU faculty.

This database, maintained by the Office of Education, has been used by MERU faculty in institutional and multi-institutional research projects with colleagues at other Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)-member medical schools, resulting in many scholarly publications as well as national and international presentations.

Consulting and collaboration

In addition to conducting educational research and scholarship, MERU faculty members serve as a resource to the WUSM community, providing consultation and collaboration opportunities in the following areas:

  • Medical education research: Provides guidance with quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods study design, questionnaire development and validation (e.g., to measure knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors), data collection, entry and management, access to and merging of large databases, and consultation on appropriate venues for dissemination of education scholarship.
  • Evaluation: Consults on development, implementation, and evaluation of educational programs. This includes qualitative research planning for data collection and analysis, development and validation of new questionnaires, and training in the conduct of educational and program evaluation methods and procedures.
  • Medical education curriculum development: Provides guidance with curriculum design, implementation, and evaluation of medical school and graduate medical education (GME) curricula.
  • Medical education grants: Provides guidance for writing grants for internal and external funding.

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MERU faculty and areas of expertise

Eva Aagaard, MD

Eva Aagaard, MD

Carol B. and Jerome T. Loeb Professor of Medical Education, Senior Associate Dean for Education, Vice Chancellor for Medical Education

Supports the medical school’s education missions by representing and advocating for education and by supporting leadership and programmatic development in education, educational scholarship and administration.

Yaheng Lu, PhD, MS

Yaheng Lu, PhD, MS

Sr. Statistical Data Analyst

Maria Pérez, MA

Maria Pérez, MA

Research Projects and Planning Manager