Today, common definitions of the concept at many medical faculties, nationally and internationally, are broader and have come to encompass all university education within medicine and health sciences, with a particular focus on learning and teaching at all levels.
All pedagogical processes
The interpretation of Medical Education as a field of research in Linköping also expands and advances the concept even further to encompass a network of relations that include students, faculty and professionals in health care. The object of research comprises not only learning processes in the educational settings, but all pedagogical processes, also in the clinical and professional health care practice.
The basis for an ontological positioning of Medical Education, i.e. the definition of the nature of the field of research, is a common view of the rationale and long-term objectives of professional education and health care. This view is based on the philosophy that learning is socially constructed and thus involves the learner as an actor in the interactive construction of meaning.
Empowerment of students
Medical Education constitutes the means to an end for the formation of an Educational Medicine, i.e. where pedagogical processes in health care are paid attention to in all aspects. The research subject has, thus, a double identity. It builds on empowerment of students through student-centred and inter-professional learning processes during the educational programmes.
These learning processes are expected to transfer into the parallel processes of patient-centred and team-oriented competences in professional health care contexts. Learning about, from and together with other professions in the health care team is viewed as a crucial aspect of the formation of a professional identity. Inter-professional learning is also viewed as a necessary condition for the establishment of an effective and safe health care, where actions and interactions of professionals are based on awareness of what knowledge-base is used as best evidence for interventions chosen.