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Resident Research and Scholarly Activity
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 including: exploring an academic career, developing credentials to bolster their fellowship application, becoming better critical readers of the medical literature, and nurturing intellectual curiosity. Since 2005, we have delivered a structured research curriculum starting in internship that has substantially enhanced the scholarly successes of our trainees as evidenced by resident publications, and regional and national presentations. In our experience, successful resident projects are conducted over a one-to two-year period, rather than during an isolated 4-week elective experience. All resident research activities are coordinated by Dr. Tonya Fancher, our Research Director, who has published on this topic of resident research.
New in 2012, we have spread the Intern Research Curriculum over the course of the intern year. Through small group ‘research lab’ meetings and structured experiences at the Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC), interns are mentored through each step in designing a feasible, interesting, novel, ethical and relevant research question and research project.
Through the curriculum, interns:
- 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; and
- develop a research project.
Interns who plan to pursue a 4-week dedicated research block during their PGY-2 year will submit their IRB during internship, thereby allowing them to ‘hit the ground running’ during the research block. Additionally, each IM resident conducts a CQI project focusing on health care improvement.
Residents interested in becoming laboratory-based investigators are encouraged to apply to the ABIM Subspecialty Research Pathway during their second year. Residency program graduates may apply to the Mentored Clinical Research Training Program (MCRTP), which offers training in basic science or patient oriented research, or the Primary Care Outcomes Research Fellowship, which trains generalist clinician scholars. Please see the attached biography of a recent graduate who completed the T-32 program concurrently with his pulmonary/critical care fellowship.
Residents are encouraged, and provided financial support, to present their scholarly work at regional and national scientific meetings. We hope these activities will encourage residents to consider careers in patient-oriented research to address the national shortage of clinical investigators.
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]