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At UC Davis, all residents are encouraged to pursue research opportunities. Scholarship is a core mission of internal medicine and residents who become involved in research projects reap many potential benefits which include: exploring an academic career, developing credentials to bolster fellowship applications, becoming better critical readers of the medical literature, and nurturing intellectual curiosity.

In our experience, resident projects are more likely to succeed when they are allowed to develop over a one-to two-year period rather than over an isolated 4-week elective experience. As a result, beginning in 2005, we have developed a structured intern research curriculum. By completing this curriculum in intern year, residents are able to 'hit the ground running' during their research elective time in their 2nd and 3rd years. We have found this design to be more effective on helping residents applying to fellowship because their scholarly work can be featured on their applications, which are submitted early during their 3rd year. 

Interns interested in research can join the research track in the second half of their internship year. Once they join, the intern ambulatory time is augmented with structured research training.  Interns work with Dr. Michael Schivo, faculty mentors, and staff from the  Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC) to design a feasible, interesting, novel, ethical and relevant research projects.

Residents in the research track will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn the basics of research methodology and study design

  • Meet individually with medical librarians to enhance their skills in using library resources

  • Study research ethics and human subjects protection

  • Collaborate with biostatisticians and information technology experts

  • Explore electronic health record-based research using Cohort Discovery

  • Learn to use reference management software

  • Review systematic review methodology

  • Develop a research project

  • Submit an IRB for their research proposal

We strongly encourage residents to present their scholarly work at regional and national scientific meetings, and we provide all of our residents with financial support to attend conferences. Please visit our Research & Scholarly Activity page to view a sampling of the work our residents have been involved in.

Residency program graduates who stay at UC Davis may apply to the Mentored Clinical Research Training Program (MCRTP), which offers training in basic science or patient oriented research, or the Quality Safety and Effectiveness Research Training T32 Program (QSERT) offered through the UC Davis Center for Healthcare Policy and Research. Please see the attached biography of a recent graduate who completed the T-32 program concurrently with his pulmonary/critical care fellowship.

We hope these activities will encourage residents to consider careers in patient-oriented research to address the national shortage of clinical investigators.  

References

Hamann KL, Fancher TL, Saint S, Henderson, MC. Clinical Research During Internal Medicine Residency: A Practical Guide. American Journal of Medicine, March 2006; 119:3, 277-283.

Fancher TL, Wun T, Hotz, C, Henderson MC.  Jumpstarting Academic Careers with a Novel Intern Research Rotation: the AIMS Rotation.  American Journal of Medicine, Vol 122, No. 11, pp 1061-1066. November 2009. PMID: 19854338 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]