Background: Despite the increasing interest in medical education in the German-speaking countries, there is currently no information available on the challenges which medical educators face. To address this problem, we carried out a web-based survey among the members of the Association for Medical Education (Gesellschaft für medizinische Ausbildung, GMA).
Methods: A comprehensive survey was carried out on the need for further qualifications, expertise and the general conditions of medical educators in Germany. As part of this study, the educators were asked to list the three main challenges which they faced and which required urgent improvement. The results were analysed by means of qualitative content analysis.
Results: The questionnaire was completed by 147 of the 373 members on the GMA mailing list (response rate: 39%). The educators named a total of 346 challenges and emphasised the following areas: limited academic recognition for engagement in teaching (53.5% of educators), insufficient institutional (31.5%) and financial support (28.4%), a curriculum in need of reform (22.8%), insufficient time for teaching assignments (18,9%), inadequate teacher competence in teaching methods (18.1%), restricted faculty development programmes (18.1%), limited networking within the institution (11.0%), lack of teaching staff (10.2%), varying preconditions of students (8.7%), insufficient recognition and promotion of medical educational research (5.5%), extensive assessment requirements (4.7%), and the lack of role models within medical education (3.2%).
Conclusion: The medical educators found the biggest challenges which they faced to be limited academic recognition and insufficient institutional and financial support. Consequently, improvements should be implemented to address these issues.