The Wicked Role of the Medical Education Department

Mona H. AlSheikh, Rania Zaini, Mohamed E. Abdalla, Mohi E. Magzoub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This paper aims to describe the role of the Medical Education unit/department (MED) from a world-wide perspective, how it qualifies as a wicked issue, and provide tips on how to tame it. Methods: The authors reviewed the regional and international literature to obtain a framework of functions and then used brainstorming and focus group discussions to define the scope of functions of the MED. Telephone interviews with present or previous chairs of medical education departments in the Kingdom and the region helped define the challenges that are faced. Results: The functions of the MED were found to fall under 10 domains (Table 1) and 40 functions (Table 2). Challenges facing MED role include governance and organizational structure, financial support, manpower, intersection with the roles of other structural entities, and dual reporting of MED staff. Ten tips are described to deal with these challenges. Conclusion: The MED role is complex and faced with many challenges. It has changing and dynamic boundaries, and is entangled with other entities in the college or university.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-8
Number of pages6
JournalHealth Professions Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Function and role
  • Health professions education
  • Medical education
  • Organization and governance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • General Nursing
  • Education


Dive into the research topics of 'The Wicked Role of the Medical Education Department'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this