OCRME began operation on July 1, 1973 as the Learning Resources Unit (LRU), which provided educational consultation, teaching, audiovisual production, and research in medical education. LRU staff participated in committees devoted to improving medical education, and consulted on projects related to curriculum development, teaching, assessment, and course evaluation. Some staff also taught in the Health Careers Education track in the UI College of Education.

In November of 1980, the LRU Advisory Committee unanimously voted approval for a new name: Office of Consultation and Research in Medical Education (OCRME). The name change took effect in 1981, but the overall purpose of the office remained the same. In 1995, OCRME staff formulated this purpose into a mission statement:

To advance excellent and innovative health sciences education through application of sound evidence and development of new knowledge.

As part of this mission, OCRME administered the Educational Development Fund (EDF) from 1973 to 2009, when the fund was discontinued. This College of Medicine grant program encouraged faculty to pursue innovation and research in medical education here on campus. The EDF supported 228 projects proposed by faculty in almost all medical and basic science departments. List of EDF recipients since 1994.

The College of Medicine then established an award in 1989 to recognize extraordinary achievement in educational research and innovation. The OCRME Advisory Committee selected one EDF grant recipient annually to receive The Lewis D. Holloway Award for Research in Health Sciences Education. List of Holloway Award recipients.

In 2007, OCRME enrolled the first students in a new Master's in Medical Education degree. The goal of both the master's degree and the Certificate in Medical Education program is to develop a community of faculty in the Carver College of Medicine who have formal training in education. This community will create and sustain a culture of educational excellence in the College and the medical education community at large.

OCRME Directors

Lewis D. Holloway, MD 1973 - 1976
Barry Bratton, PhD 1977 - 1985
Mark A. Albanese, PhD 1986 - 1994
Kristi Ferguson, PhD 1994 - Present