Synergistic Research in Medical Education: Some Philosophical Reflections

  • Richard B Hovey McGill University
  • Charo Rodríguez McGill University
  • Steven Jordan McGill University
  • Angela Morck Independent Researcher
Keywords: Synergistic research, medical education, philosophy of science, hermeneutic wager, person-centred care, research methods.


In this paper, we present and discuss the “synergistic research approach,” from quantitative and qualitative through mixed methods, as a term that refers to an academic endeavour in which researchers are not only committed to comprehensiveness and rigor, but also – and importantly – to excellence in peer processes that further enhance knowledge generation by emphasizing the philosophical underpinnings thereof. We outline the hermeneutic wager, which provides the philosophical grounds for synergistic research, and explain the reasons why we consider this perspective to be of particular interest in the health profession education field of inquiry.



Author Biographies

Richard B Hovey, McGill University

Dr. Hovey is an Associate Professor of Oral Health and Society, and Director of Faculty Development at the Faculty of Dentistry, McGill University.

Chair, McGill Group on Transformational Learning in Health (TLH)

Charo Rodríguez, McGill University

Dr. Rodríguez is an Associate Professor of Family Medicine, and Director of the Family Medicine Educational Research Group (FMER), Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University. She is also FRQ-S Senior Research Scholar.

McGill Group on Transformational Learning in Health (TLH)

Steven Jordan, McGill University

Dr. Jordan is an Associate Professor and Chair, Integrated Studies in Education, Department of Education, Faculty of Education, McGill University.

McGill Group on Transformational Learning in Health (TLH)


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