Research 101: An Initiative to Encourage and Facilitate Quality Resident Research in a Military Setting

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Abstract

Objective

Describe and evaluate a structured research program initiated at a tertiary Department of Defense (DOD) Medical Training Facility (MTF) to encourage and facilitate the conduct of research investigations, specifically among residents and junior or inexperienced investigators, but applicable for all DOD otolaryngology (ENT) and audiology providers.

Methods

A new comprehensive program was deployed in the ENT clinic at Madigan Army Medical Center (MAMC) to help improve the research program. Identified gaps in research methods and regulatory training were incorporated into the existing graduate medical education program along with structured mentorship between residents and senior staff. Academic achievements (eg, research protocols, publications, presentations at national/international meetings, and funding) for the ENT clinic were examined from 1992 to 2016, and changes in academic achievements were analyzed for success.

Results

The implementation of a structured research curriculum improved the number of protocols submitted and the quality of research being accepted for publication (ie, journal impact factor). Funding for research increased significantly to represent a third of the total research portfolio for the entire hospital.

Discussion

The benefit of employing a research specialist to oversee the resident research experience can greatly influence the quantity and quality of a resident program’s research portfolio.

Implications for Practice

Improving resident research activity can potentially advance the quality of the resident program, help with evidence-based medical approaches, and increase residents’ chances of matching for fellowship.

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