AAN.com Talks with Barney Stern About Neurology Education Research

July 11, 2008

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Barney Stern, MD, FAAN, is Chair of the Education Research Subcommittee of the AAN. AAN.com met with Dr. Stern to find out more about the activities of this subcommittee. He spoke with AAN.com Education Editor Daniel B. Hier, MD, MBA, FAAN.

Author disclosures

AAN.com: Why was the Education Research Subcommittee (ERS) established?

Stern: The ERS has two missions: first, to improve the quality of neurological education for members, residents, students, and non-neurologists; second, to promote the career development of neurologic educators.

AAN.com: How does the AAN define "education research"?

Stern: Education research is the qualitative and quantitative study of hypothesis-driven observations or interventions on the acquisition of neurological knowledge or training.

AAN.com: Does the ERS provide research funding for neurological research?

Stern: Absolutely. The ERS has funded education research projects for several years. Funds are awarded based on a peer-review process.

AAN.com: What sort of projects has received funding?

Stern: The 2007 awardees were “Evaluating the Effectiveness of Continuum® as a Teaching Tool for Medical Students” (R. Isaacson et al.) and “Improving Ethical, Relational, and Communication Skills for Neurology Residents” (T. Cochrane et al.).

AAN.com: What are some of the strategic initiatives of the ERS?

Stern: We’d like to promote research funding for education research for AAN members. We’d also like to look for extramural funding sources for neurological research.

AAN.com: Does ERS collaborate with other AAN committees or work groups?

Stern: We are looking to work with a variety of other groups including the Consortium of Neurology Program Directors and Clerkship Directors, the Consortium of Neurology Residents and Fellows, the Distance Learning Subcommittee, and the Student Interest Group in Neurology (SIGN).

AAN.com: Does ERS have plans to communicate with other neurological organizations involved in neurology education?

Stern: We plan to strengthen our relationships with the Neurology Residency Review Committee (RRC) of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the Association of University Professors of Neurology, the American Neurological Association, and the National Science Foundation. We are looking for partners who share our goal of improving neurological education.

AAN.com: Do good tools exist to assess the quality and effectiveness of neurological education?

Stern: This is a key goal. We want to create the tools to assess the effectiveness and quality of neurology education, whether it occurs at the bedside, online, or in the classroom.

AAN.com: Where can members go to learn more about neurological education?

Stern: An invited article entitled Neurology Education Research was published in Neurology® in March. It details some of the important challenges facing research into neurology education.

AAN.com: Thanks for talking with us today.

Stern: It is a pleasure to remind our members of the importance of improving the quality of neurology education through applied research.

Author Disclosures

Within the past 24 months, Dr. Hier received personal compensation for medical legal consulting and consulting to legal firms regarding medical malpractice issues. In that period he also served as editor for MDnetguide, and has given expert testimony, prepared a deposition, and/or acted as a witness or consultant in medical malpractice cases. Dr. Hier has received personal compensation in an editorial capacity for AAN.com.

Dr. Stern serves as editor of the publication Neurologist.