Qualitative research

Qualitative Research Medical Education

Many important medical education research questions cry out for a qualitative research approach: How do teacher characteristics affect learning? Why do learners choose particular specialties? How is professionalism influenced by experiences, mentors, or the curriculum? The medical paradigm, the “hard” science most often taught in medical schools, usually employs quantitative approaches. As a result, clinicians may be less familiar with qualitative research or its applicability to medical education questions. For these why types of questions, qualitative or mixed qualitative and quantitative approaches may be more appropriate and helpful. Thus, we wish to encourage submissions to the Journal of Graduate Medical Education that are for qualitative purposes or use qualitative methods.

This editorial is the first in a series of two, and it will provide an introduction to qualitative approaches and compare features of quantitative and qualitative research. The second editorial will review in more detail the approaches for selecting participants, analyzing data, and ensuring rigor and study quality in qualitative research. The aims of the editorials are to enhance readers' understanding of articles using this approach and to encourage more researchers to explore qualitative approaches.

Good research follows from a reasonable starting point, a theoretical concept or perspective. Quantitative research uses a positivist perspective in which evidence is objectively and systematically obtained to prove a causal model or hypothesis; what works is the focus. Alternatively, qualitative approaches focus on how and why something works, to build understanding. In the positivist model, study objects (eg, learners) are independent of the researchers, and knowledge or facts are determined through direct observations. Also, the context in which the observations occur is controlled or assumed to be stable. In contrast, in a qualitative paradigm researchers might interact with the study objects (learners) to collect observations, which are highly context specific.

Qualitative research has often been differentiated from quantitative as hypothesis generating rather than hypothesis testing. Qualitative research methods “explore, describe, or generate theory, especially for uncertain and ‘immature’ concepts; sensitive and socially dependent concepts; and complex human intentions and motivations.” In education, qualitative research strives to understand how learning occurs through close study of small numbers of learners and a focus on the individual. It attempts to explain a phenomenon or relationship. Typically, results from qualitative research have been assumed to apply only to the small groups studied, such that generalizability of the results to other populations is not expected. For this reason, qualitative research is considered to be hypothesis generating, although some experts dispute this limitation. presents a comparison of qualitative and quantitative approaches.


Excise dept inspects chemist shops  — Hindustan Times
.. under supervision of UT assistant excise and taxation commissioner RC Bhalla, carried out inspection at Kumar Brothers in Sector 11, Trilok Chemist at Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Gupta Agencies in Sector 24 ..

Fake research at PGI: Journal starts its own investigation  — Hindustan Times
A leg of a three-year-old child got paralysed while the doctors of the cardiolo gy de par tment were allegedly performing an angiography at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh. According to a complaint.

Fired with zeal to heal the mind and spirit  — Hindustan Times
He started the psychiatry department at Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, in 1963 and was its head from 1968.

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