The Voices of Medical Education Scholarship: Describing the Published Landscape

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Medical education




INTRODUCTION: The voices of authors who publish medical education literature have a powerful impact on the field's discourses. Researchers have identified a lack of author diversity, which suggests potential epistemic injustice. This study investigates author characteristics to provide an evidence-based starting point for communal discussion with the intent to move medical education towards a future that holds space for, and values, diverse ways of knowing. METHOD: The authors conducted a bibliometric analysis of all articles published in 24 medical education journals published between 2000-2020 to identify author characteristics, with an emphasis on author gender and geographic location and their intersection. Article metadata was downloaded from Web of Science. Genderize.io was used to predict author gender. RESULTS: The journals published 37,263 articles authored by 62,708 unique authors. Males were more prevalent across all authorship positions (n=62,828; 55.7%) than females (n=49,975; 44.3%). Authors listed affiliations in 146 countries of which 95 were classified as Global South. Few articles were written by multinational teams (n=3,765; 16.2%). Global South authors accounted for 12,007 (11.4%) author positions of which 3,594 (3.8%) were female. DISCUSSION: This study provides an evidence-based starting point to discuss the imbalance of author voices in medical education, especially when considering the intersection of gender and geographical location, which further suggests epistemic injustice in medical education. If the field values a diversity of perspectives, there is considerable opportunity for improvement by engaging the community in discussions about what knowledge matters in medical education, the role of journals in promoting diversity, how to best use this baseline data, and how to continue studying epistemic injustice in medical education.


Health, Human Function, and Rehabilitation Sciences