Job roles of the 2025 Medical Educator

Journal Club Article:

Simpson, D., Marcdante, K., Souza, K. H., Anderson, A., & Holmboe, E. (2018). Job roles of the 2025 medical educatorJournal of Graduate Medical Education10(3), 243-246.

Keywords: future ready, adaptability, devices, future systems, curator, role model, medical educator.

Background: Need to understand these changes and design education to be consistent with the roles of physicians in this future system consistent with the roles of physicians in this future system consistent with a true competency-based approach to education.

Job analyses reveal for physicians in 2020 must be:

  • competent health care clinicians for patients and populations,
  • superb communicators,
  • luent with digital data and technology, agile and innovation-driven,
  • capable as leaders and members of interprofessional teams .

Education, changes will be driven by anytime and anywhere adaptive strategies:

  • learning analytics
  • virtual and augmented reality,
  • gamification,
  • mobile/wearable technologies

Future Trends

  • Outsourcing of Education: Textbook publishers have built software platforms where students can do homework exercises and get real-time feedback.8 Education-oriented partnerships between academics, professional societies, and vendors are increasing. Examples include the Surgery Resident Skills Curriculum developed by the American College of Surgeons and Association of Program Directors in Surgery, the AAMC/Kahn Academy for MCAT Prep, the MedU Cases completed by more than 40 000 students each year, and the in-training examinations and prep courses delivered by specialty/professional societies.
  • Technology: Virtual and augmented reality technology, combined with built-in learning analytics, are used to create virtual companions that support trainee learning and new forms of real-time assessment.
  • Learning Analytics/Big Data in Education: The use of big “education” data facilitates personalized learning for individuals and groups, as well as use of assessment data for program evaluation. Examples include the ACGME’s analysis of milestone data and the emergence of conferences highlighting how to analyze and use big data.
  • Learner as Consumer and Co-Designer: Examples include mobile 24/7 anytime/anywhere learning and testing and micro/nano degrees that allow students to take a series of short online courses, finish a capstone project, obtain a certificate, and prepare for a specific role or job.
  • Regulation and Alignment: Increasingly, regulators and accreditors will focus on integrating and aligning education and clinical care outcomes (health care quality, safety, patient experience) as the primary driving force for the design of medical education programs across the continuum. There also is increasing emphasis on team/interprofessional collaborative care and education as decisions and actions will no longer be a solo act. Decision-making will be distributed among the team members based on their license and scope of practice, and supported by artificial intelligence/machine learning (eg, Watson).”

Roles of the Future Medical Educator

  • Diagnostic Assessor: “Use results of big data to identify individual/group performance gaps to individualize training
  • Content Curator: Access, select, sequence, and deliver high-quality content developed by national experts
  • Technology Adopter: Be an early adopter and fluent in selecting and using appropriate technology tool(s)
  • Learner-Centered Navigator and Professional Coach: Guide learners’ use of resources and practice to achieve identified performance targets
  • Clinician Role Model: Exemplar for the various 2025 physician job roles
  • Learning Environment Designer, Engineer, Architect, and Implementer: Designs the “space” to optimize learning informed by sciences (eg, learning).”


As education evolves, medical educators must embrace these role changes and a new professional identity.