The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted society and communities across the world requiring new and innovative approaches for healthcare, work, education and leisure. Similar changes have been precipitated in medical education, producing a rapid and major impact on students, educators and institutions. However, institutions still require educators to engage with scholarship in medical education, including providing evidence for promotion and tenure. We propose that resolving this tension between the demands of delivering a high quality curriculum and maintaining scholarship in medical education during the era of the COVID-19 pandemic requires urgent consideration of a transformational change in the scholarship in medical education. Key aspects of this change are a focus on rapid cycles of research to inform teaching, with local and wider dissemination using newer rapid approaches to publication and social media, and acceptability of these changes by institutions.