The CAFM Educational Research Alliance (CERA) is a resource to:
- Increase the quality and frequency of research and scholarly activity among members of CAFM organizations
- Improve the process for surveying constituents with better questions and fewer surveys
- Provide a clearinghouse of data that CAFM members and their residents can use to meet scholarship requirements
- Provide mentoring and education to junior researchers
The mission of CERA is to set within family medicine a standard for medical education research that is rigorous and generalizable; to provide mentoring and education to junior researchers; to facilitate collaboration between medical education researchers; and to guide the specialty by providing leadership and vision in the arena of medical education research.
How CERA Works
CERA conducts approximately five surveys per year:
- Family medicine residency directors (surveyed twice per year)
- Clerkship directors
- Department chairs
- General CAFM membership, including subsets of members as selected by applicants
Each survey includes questions on multiple subjects, as well as a set of recurring questions to provide data for historical comparisons. Researchers get their individual survey results, plus the demographic and organizational information.
Individuals who submit specific questions for study are given 3 months to analyze the data from the survey prior to release of the data to the general membership. The expectation is that investigators will write and submit a paper within those 3 months.
Institutions that don't have a strong research infrastructure or experienced investigators can receive help in moving from an idea to publication. The CERA Steering Committee is available to answer questions and assist individuals in preparing proposals. Once projects have been approved, experienced researchers join each project team to help refine questions, facilitate analysis, and prepare and submit manuscripts. Because of their extensive involvement with the project, researchers who join your team should be included as authors on published papers/presentations.
Next Steps for CERA
CERA is seeking ideas for projects with questions and methodologies for multiple institutions. The goal is to allow for collaboration on projects that will benefit from a larger sample size—basically, a network for medical education research.
CERA may be able to help you develop your ideas into a research project that involves educators at other institutions. Send a brief proposal to Mary Theobald.
If you have questions about CERA or how your research project can be included, contact CERA Chair, Dean Seehusen, MD, MPH.