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Acad Med. 2012 May;87(5):592-7. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31824d2b57.

Perspective: Integrating research into surgical residency education: lessons learned from orthopaedic surgery.

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University of Toronto, Institute of Medical Science, Ontario, Canada.


Orthopaedic research has advanced tremendously in parallel with accelerated progress in medical science. Possession of a fundamental understanding of basic and clinical science has become more essential than previously for orthopaedic surgeons to be able to translate advances in research into clinical practice. The number of medical graduates with prior education in scientific research who choose to pursue careers in orthopaedic surgery is small. Therefore, it is important that a core of research education be included during residency training to ensure the continued advancement of the clinical practice of orthopaedics. The authors examine some of the challenges to a comprehensive research experience during residency, including deficient priority, inadequate institutional infrastructure, financial strain on residency budgets, restricted time, and an insufficient number of mentors to encourage and guide residents to become clinician-scientists. They also present some strategies to overcome these challenges, including development and expansion of residency programs with clinician-scientist pathways, promotion of financial sources, and enhancement of opportunities for residents to interact with mentors who can serve as role models. Successful integration of research education into residency programs will stimulate future orthopaedic surgeons to develop the critical skills to lead musculoskeletal research, comprehend related discoveries, and translate them into patient care. Lessons learned from incorporating research training within orthopaedic residency programs will have broad application across medical specialties-in both primary and subspecialty patient care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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