Process For Getting Your Research Project Started
The general consensus regarding the ‘‘Scholarly Project’’ Requirement for Emergency Medicine Residents, based on the Report of the SAEM Research Directors’ Workshop is that the primary role of the scholarly project is to:
- instruct residents in the process of scientific inquiry,
- teach problem-solving skills, and to
- expose the resident to the mechanics of research.
It is an expectation at the University of Florida, Emergency Medicine Residency Program that residents will complete at least one hypothesis-driven research project suitable for peer review during their residency period. Ideally, the project will culminate in a manuscript that will be submitted for publication. It is also the expectation that the resident will present the findings of this research at the annual resident research day and either a local, regional, or national forum.
This project can be either a retrospective or a prospective analysis (or other scholarly activity that has been approved by the Program Director or the Residency Research Director) in which the resident will:
- Define a research hypothesis
- Develop and implement a research plan
- Collect and analyze data
- Interpret findings
- Conduct a literature review related to the topic of study
- Prepare a manuscript suitable for publication and a presentation for the Departmental Research Day.
Emergency Medicine residents will collaborate with a faculty member who is actively and simultaneously engaged in the conduct of the research project. It is anticipated that resident and faculty research project mentors will meet often enough to ensure successful completion of the scholarly project. A list of faculty research initiatives is posted on the Division of Clinical Research web site. Faculty may recruit residents to assist in their research endeavors OR residents may recruit faculty to assist in the conduct of their proposed research. All faculty are encouraged to become involved in this process.
Every resident’s progress with this research initiative will be gauged during semi-annual resident review. Their individual project will be discussed and their progress will be documented in the Semi-Annual Resident Review report as part of the ACGME Core Competencies.
EM Resident Research Day occurs annually in May or June.
In an effort to assist and prepare residents for this scholarly endeavor, a formal didactic research curriculum is taught in the first half of every year.
By March of PGY-1
- Early in the residency, determine an area of interest for your project.
- Complete HIPAA for researchers
- Meet with the Residency Research Director
- To clarify an idea you already have or discuss possible topics if you are uncertain about your interests.
- To identify a staff who has an interest or expertise in your chosen area and discuss your ideas with her.
- Make sure your project is simple and doable.
- Make sure one of the ED staff is a part of the undertaking (although your primary faculty advisor may be from another department, it is important to have one of the ED staff in the research loop).
By May of PGY-1
- Do a literature search on your topic to get an idea if your topic has been studied extensively or not, and what has and has not been done. Remember, just because your idea has been done before does not necessarily mean you cannot do the project. It will always be a little different due to the setting, timing, etc…
- Decide on your study design
- Begin writing your research proposal
By July of PGY-2
- Present your proposal to medical education/clinical research committee (you have to request to present, and will be given a date)
- Think about the variables that you want to collect (age, gender, admission date, length of hospital stay, etc.)
- Make sure the variables are coded in a way amenable for analysis (e.g. symptoms)
- Ask for help before you start entering data of patients into your database, so you will save some time.
By August of PGY-2
- Submit your protocol to the IRB. Allow 4-6 weeks time to hear from them (if your study includes an intervention, the IRB will take more time).
By January of PGY-2
- Complete your data collection
By July of PGY-3
- Complete statistical analysis and preliminary manuscript draft
In the spring of every year, we have our annual resident research day, at which you will be invited to present your work.
Upcoming Meetings and Deadlines
|Abstract submission deadline||Meeting|
|Early to mid December||SAEM|
|3rd week in April||ACEP|
|June||FCEP Symposium by the Sea|
- You may collaborate on your project with another EM resident as long as the workload, authorship and other details (define these early in the course of the project)
- Observational and retrospective cohort studies are easier to perform.
- You can write more than one abstract/paper using the same dataset.
- Keep in mind the deadlines of any meeting that you would like to attend. Deadlines are usually 6 months prior to the meeting.
Formal Research Curriculum
Our emergency medicine residency program provides every trainee with a solid research base. A formal 13 lecture didactic course is presented every year, and encompasses study design to statistics to publication. This course is also taught as a 1.0 credit college/medical school course, and is available for export. The lectures are given in a concentrated span over the first half of the year so that residents are equipped with the tools to begin on their research by the middle of their first year.
Presenting & Publishing
ALL our residents are individually mentored through the research process, with an assigned mentor, a defined project, and timeline. Every resident is guaranteed abstract poster presentation at SAEM or ACEP. All interested residents will publish at least one manuscript before graduation. There is a lot of encouragement for manuscript publication. For example, a list of interesting cases is maintained whereby a resident interested in publishing can access the information needed to prepare a case report or clinical image. A list of ongoing projects are also available for residents to participate in. Book chapter opportunities are regularly made available as well.
Journal Club is held once a quarter, usually off site and consists of 2-3 articles carefully chosen by the presenting resident and their mentor. The papers are reviewed in detail with the presenting residents ahead of time, with the idea of placing in context the lessons learned from the research curriculum. Where applicable, appropriate checklists such as CONOSRT, MOOSE, and STARD are distributed based on the study design.