A Plea for MERSQI: The Medical Education Research Study Quality Instrument

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OBJECTIVE:To describe the quality of educational scholarship presented at a large national conference of obstetrics and gynecology educators.METHODS:We reviewed Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology–Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics annual meeting abstracts from 2015 and 2016, published as supplements to Obstetrics & Gynecology. For this uncontrolled observational study, abstracts were reviewed and scored using the Medical Education Research Study Quality Instrument (MERSQI). Comparisons between types of submissions (oral presentations or posters), origin of the report (academic or community), setting (undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate), and focus of the study (tool development or evaluation) were made. Abstracts from award-winning presentations and full manuscripts were compared with the remaining abstracts. One- and two-tailed Student t tests with a two-sample unequal variance (heteroscedastic) test were performed with a significance threshold of P≤.05.RESULTS:One hundred eighty-six abstracts and articles were available, with 101 posters and 77 oral presentations that could be scored in all six of the MERSQI domains. The average MERSQI score was 9.05 (±1.90) with scores ranging from 5 to 13.5 (median 9). Abstracts from full-text articles scored more than 1 point higher than other abstracts (10.2 compared with 9.0, P<.001, Cohen's d=0.72). Statistically significant smaller magnitude differences were found comparing tool development with evaluation, academic with community studies, and for award with nonaward winners. No differences were found comparing oral and poster presentations.CONCLUSION:The quality of educational scholarship presented at a national meeting of obstetrics and gynecology educators falls within the published range for other specialties. The MERSQI scoring system is a useful method for tracking and benchmarking the quality of medical education scholarship in obstetrics and gynecology.

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