Become a DR MERL Reviewer

What is DR MERL?

DR MERL stands for Dependable Reviews of Medical Education Literature.     DR MERL is a collection of short, succinct and often opinionated reviews of recent studies in medical education research that may lead to improved medical education.

What is the DR MERL mission statement?

To provide pithy, timely reviews of medical education research which has practical impact on the decisions made by “on the front lines” medical educators and course, clerkship, and program directors.

What is the DR MERL editorial policy?

Each review should be a SHORT, engaging paragraph.  The focus of DR MERL reviews is on the “take-home” message, but major methods issues should be mentioned, e.g. survey study or randomized trial.  Articles with serious methodological flaws, previously-known or predictable results, or lack of applicability to the focus audience will not be reviewed.

What areas of medical education are covered? 


How long is the typical DR MERL review?

Reviews are typically no more than 200 words in length.

What style is a DR MERL review?

The writing style is academic in content, but casual in style.

How often are DR MERL reviews published?

Usually 10 times per year.  

When must DR MERL reviews be submitted?

Reviews are published on the blog throughout the month.  The DR MERL newsletter, highlighting recent reviews, is distributed monthly.

What is included in a DR MERL review?

1) A short, eye-catching review title (no more than 12 words long)
2) A few tag words or key words
3) The full journal article citation (AMA style)
4) Reviewers full name, title, host institution and contact information

Who may submit DR MERL reviews? 

Clinicians, basic scientists and faculty involved in medical education at NEGEA member institutions.

Which journal articles are eligible for review?

You must have access to the full text of any journal article you choose to review.  Acceptable journals are those dedicated exclusively to medical education such as Academic Medicine, Medical Teacher, Teaching and Learning in Medicine and/or   specialty journals with education related articles.

How do I choose an article to review?

Choose an article that you want your colleagues to read.    The best articles stimulate your interest or confirm a theory you’ve had.   If you’re excited about the topic, your colleagues will be, too.

Will my review be published in DR MERL?

All submissions are checked by DR MERL founding members for relevance, length, grammar, etc.  Submissions may be rejected or the author may be asked to re-submit a review.

What is a typical DR MERL review? 

“Residents Continue To Be (Even More) Depressed”

In a systematic review of studies published from the 1980s to the 2010s, the prevalence of depression or depressive symptoms among residents was found to be 28.8%. Specialty, post-graduate year, country, median age, and percentage male were not predictors of depression prevalence.  Interestingly, there was a tonic increase in percentage of depressed residents with calendar year, despite increasingly strict duty hours regulations over the years relevant to included studies. — Laura Willett, MD

 How do I submit a review?

Submit reviews to Editor (

Who can I contact with a question?

Editor (


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