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This article explores experiences of teaching qualitative research (QR) broadly, and qualitative methods (QM) more specifically in medicine, highlighting the challenges faced, and offering recommendations for overcoming them. Using collective online interviews, collaborative autoethnography (CAE) was employed to generate data comprising educator's reflective accounts of teaching QM in medical schools across two continents. Three main themes were identified through collaborative thematic analysis: making meaningful contributions from a marginalized position; finding our pedagogical feet; and recognizing the translational applicability and value of QR. We reflected on the marginalized positioning of QM in medical curricula and the underestimation of the value of QR to understanding pressing health issues. Analysis of these reflections pointed to a lack of formal training for educators and curriculum space for qualitative approaches. Our teaching pedagogies, developed through our own research experiences, self-reflection and student feedback, were primarily student-centered employing a range of novel approaches designed to foster skills and interest in the craft of QR, and introduce a greater appreciation of the significance of QR approaches to medicine. CAE further allowed us to identify some key recommendations that could help medical educators plan for teaching QM and other research methods more effectively in medicine. Future curriculum development should consider the benefits of exposing learners to a range of methods and approaches from across the qualitative-quantitative spectrum.

Original publication




Journal article


Advances in health sciences education : theory and practice

Publication Date



School of Primary Care, Population Science, and Medical Education, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.