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Brown University

EFD On-Demand: Practical Approaches to Applying Conceptual & Theoretical Frameworks to Medical Education Research

Brown University via Independent


Program Release: April 30, 2021 Expiration Date: April 30, 2023 Estimated time to complete: 60 Minutes There are no prerequisites for participation. GUEST SPEAKERS Rebecca Blanchard, PhD, MEd Associate Professor, Department of Medicine University of Massachusetts Medical School-Baystate Adjunct Associate Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine Senior Director of Education, Baystate Health Assistant Dean for Education University of Massachusetts Medical School-Baystate Director, Baystate Education Research and Scholarship of Teaching (BERST) Academy, Baystate Health Steven C Rougas, MD Director of the Doctoring Program Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine Assistant Professor of Medical Science Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University Emergency Medicine Physician Brown Emergency Medicine Providence, RI Overview The purpose of this session, which was developed by the GEA’s Medical Education Scholarship Research and Evaluation (MESRE) section, is to explore the practical application of conceptual and theoretical frameworks to education research. Social scientists and educators use relevant theories and conceptual frameworks when conducting education research. The conceptual or theoretical framework provides a lens through which to identify gaps in the literature, operationalize appropriate constructs and hypothesize relationships as well as design appropriate methodology. In addition, such frameworks can provide scholars lenses to understand how societies, organizations and people interact in certain ways. Despite what we know about the importance of using frameworks, educators struggle to consistently identify and incorporate them when designing their research studies, putting them at risk for negative peer review and rejection from some of the top medical education journals. This workshop will help educators understand the practical application of conceptual frameworks and how they can help situate one’s research study in the existing literature.


After participating in this course, the learner should be better able to:

  • Describe and give examples of conceptual and theoretical frameworks commonly used in different research paradigms
  • Examine how the selection of a framework can impact research design 
  • Discuss strategies to situate results through the lens of a conceptual or theoretical framework 
  • Identify resources that support the identification and use of conceptual frameworks


There are no fees for participating in and receiving credit for this activity.

  • Review the activity objectives, faculty information, and CME information prior to participating in the activity.
  • View the CME presentations
  • Complete the CME activity evaluation at the conclusion of the activity in order to receive a credit certificate.


In accordance with the disclosure policy of the Brown University CME Office as well as standards set forth by the Accreditation Council on Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), speakers have been asked to disclose any relevant financial relationship with the manufacturers of any commercial products and/or provider of commercial services discussed in any educational presentation and with any commercial supporters or exhibitors of this activity.

The intent of this policy is not to prevent a speaker with a potential conflict of interest from making a presentation but to identified openly so that the listener may form his/her own opinion. Any potential conflicts of interest have been resolved prior to this presentation.

This activity may include discussion of off-label or investigative drugs uses. Speakers are aware that it is their responsibility to disclose to the audience this information. Individual Faculty Disclosure information may be found in the conference handouts.

Faculty Disclosure/Conflict of Interest

The following speakers and planning committee members* have disclosed that they have no relevant financial relationships:

Rebecca Blanchard, PhD, MEd
Emily Green, PhD, MA*
Jennifer Maloney*
Gita Pensa, MD
Chelsea Reyes*
Steven C Rougas, MD
Maria Sullivan, BS*


Privacy Policy: The Office of Continuing Medical Education (CME) and its educational partners protect the privacy of personal and other information regarding participants and educational collaborators. The CME Office maintains its Internet site as an information resource and service for physicians, other health professionals, and the public. The CME Office will keep your personal information confidential when you participate in a CME Internet-based program. CME collects only the information necessary to provide you with the services that you request.

Disclaimer: This educational program is designed to present scientific information and opinion to Health professionals, to stimulate thought, and further investigation.


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