Graduate medical education (GME) has seen many novel ideas over the years, with innovations in the areas of teaching, assessment, simulation, faculty development, program evaluation, and anticipated future GME initiatives, to name a few. We’ve also seen, by necessity, novel ways of adapting to new challenges, such as natural disasters and the recent COVID-19 pandemic. It should be no surprise, then, that a journal devoted exclusively to GME would want to showcase these innovations. And so, since 2014, the June issue of the Journal of Graduate Medical Education (JGME) has included a collection of articles in a section called “New Ideas.”
While JGME regularly publishes research studies on innovative and novel interventions under the “Educational Innovation” and “Brief Report” categories, New Ideas articles are much shorter (600 words), reporting on GME innovations that have been implemented at least once, appear to be successful, and can be adopted by others. Each New Idea follows the same structure: Setting and Problem, stating clearly what the innovation aims to address; Intervention, describing what exactly was done and how; and Outcomes to Date, showing some success in preliminary evaluations. The Call for New Ideas takes place each summer.
For authors and researchers looking to submit a New Idea, the most challenging question is often: What exactly is meant by words like “novel” and “innovative?” A recent editorial in JGME, Innovation—Defining Key Features for Medical Education Manuscripts, written by Resident Editor Arianne “Cuff” Baker, MD, Associate Editor Halah Ibrahim, MD, MEHP, and Deputy Editor Deborah Simpson, PhD, discusses this very question along with what JGME looks for in such submissions. They state, “Innovations present a new solution to an existing problem in graduate medical education, of interest to others, with data on success and generalizability, including feasibility and sustainability. New ideas are more than something flashy; they should have the potential to solve real problems in ways that others might realistically be able to adopt.” Unlike a new adaptation of something that has been done elsewhere, a novel idea is an innovation, not a replication, that moves the field forward.
In the June 2022 issue, some of the topics for New Ideas include: increasing diversity in GME leadership; an infographics app for teacher development; a virtual “museum tour” for resident orientation; a job search series for pediatric fellows; and a Get Out of Clinic card to facilitate learning in a fast-paced ambulatory setting.
As another call for New Ideas goes out (deadline is Monday, October 17, 2022), potential authors looking for a way to turn their everyday innovation into a publication may want to learn more beyond reading the editorial. A lively discussion on New Ideas can be found on the JGME podcast, Hot Topics in Med Ed. Drs. Baker, Ibrahim, and Simpson, the innovation editorial authors who were all deeply involved in reading and selecting this year’s collected articles, share their thoughts on what makes an idea truly novel and what the best articles in the collection have in common.
For details on the 2023 Call for New Ideas, visit the Announcements page on the JGME website!
Guest blogger Kevin Gladish is an editorial associate on the staff of the Journal of Graduate Medical Education. He’s been at the ACGME since 2016, and is also a performer, writer, and storyteller.