Redefining scholarship for health professions education: AMEE Guide No. 142

Med Teach. 2021 Jul;43(7):824-838. doi: 10.1080/0142159X.2021.1900555. Epub 2021 Apr 7.


Scholarship is an integral aspect of academia. It shapes the practice of individuals and the field and is often used to inform career progression decisions and policies. This makes it high stakes. Yet it is complex, and ambiguous. Definitions vary and the term does not necessarily translate well across contexts. In this AMEE guide, our aim is to establish a contemporary definition of scholarship which is appropriate to health professions education (HPE). Our specific objectives are to provide guidance to support colleagues in their career development as professional educators and to challenge biases and assumptions about scholarship which may still exist in educational systems and structures. Ultimately, we hope that this work will advance the stature/standing of scholarship in the field. We provide a general definition of scholarship and how this relates to the scholarship of teaching (and learning) (SoT[L]) and scholarly teaching. Drawing on Boyer's seminal work, we describe different types of scholarship and reflect on how these apply to HPE, before moving on to describe different types of engagement with scholarship in HPE, including scope of contribution and influence. Using cases and examples, we illustrate differences in scholarly engagement across stages of a career, contexts, and ways of engaging. We provide guidance on how to assess 'quality' of scholarship. We offer practical advice for health professions' educators seeking academic advancement. We advocate that institutional leaders consider their systems and structures, so that these align with faculty work patterns, and judge teaching and professional practice appropriately. We conclude by offering a new definition of scholarship in HPE.

Keywords: Staff development; medicine; teaching & learning.

MeSH terms

  • Fellowships and Scholarships*
  • Health Occupations*
  • Humans
  • Professional Practice