Teaching medicine is a profession and a pleasure, a vocation and an avocation. It is also, as current research convincingly shows, a form of behavior that can be studied, measured, and modified under controlled conditions.1-3
General educational research has an active and growing national organization, the American Educational Research Association (AERA), which produces informative reviews of current work through the Review of Educational Research, has developed an Encyclopedia of Educational Research, and, in the Handbook of Research on Teaching, has created what is "likely to be voted the most influential educational book of the half century."4
Research in medical education is a relatively new field of endeavor. Although the Association of American Medical Colleges has supported such systematic study for more than a decade, educational research is formally represented in the organizational pattern of only seven medical schools; the oldest of these programs was established in 1959.