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J Gen Intern Med. 2005 Apr;20(4):366-9.

Completing a scholarly project during residency training. Perspectives of residents who have been successful.

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Division of General Internal Medicine, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.



Resident research has potential benefits and scholarly activity is an internal medicine residency training requirement. This study sought to learn about the resources needed and the barriers to performing scholarly work during residency from residents who had been successful.


A questionnaire was delivered to 138 internal medicine residents presenting their work at the 2002 American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine annual session. Residents were asked to comment on why they had participated in a scholarly project, the skills and resources needed to complete the project, as well as the barriers. Comparisons were made between residents who presented a research abstract and those who exhibited a clinical vignette.


Seventy-three residents (53%) completed the questionnaire. Thirty-nine residents presented a clinical vignette and 34 displayed a research abstract. Residents participated in research for a variety of reasons, including intellectual curiosity (73%), career development (60%), and to fulfill a mandatory scholarly activity requirement at their residency program (32%). The most common barriers were insufficient time (79%), inadequate research skills (45%), and lack of a research curriculum (44%). Residents who had presented research abstracts devoted more time (median, 200 vs 50 hours; P<.05) to their project than those who exhibited clinical vignettes. Sixty-nine percent of residents thought research should be a residency requirement.


The majority of respondents reported that their scholarly project was a worthwhile experience despite considerable barriers. Teaching research skills more explicitly with a focused curriculum and providing adequate protected time may enable residents to be successful.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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