Introduction: Residency programs are mandated by the ACGME to teach residents basic research principles and residents are expected to participate in scholarly activity. However, literature examining pediatric residents’ research experiences has found that most residents feel their knowledge of research skills is fair or poor after residency completion. Despite this gap in what is mandated by the ACGME and what is actually experienced by residents, little is published to guide programs in developing and implementing a research curriculum. Methods: This curriculum document is a comprehensive guide for any residency program to implement a research curriculum among their trainees. This curriculum consists of both interactive workshops as well as a guide to facilitate trainee completion of a mentored research project. All tools necessary are presented, including educational goals and objectives mapped to ACGME competencies, PowerPoint interactive workshops, a sample timeline for the mentored research project, and evaluation tools. Results: We have recently developed several assessment and evaluation tools for this research curriculum that will be implemented this spring. On our graduate program survey we have been asking graduates to evaluate the following statement using a 5-point Likert scale: “The mentored research project is a well-supported experience.” Our data are as follows: 2010, score = 3.67; 2011, score = 4.25; 2012, score = 4.5. We believe the increase in scores reflects the continued focus on strengthening our research program. Discussion: After completing this curriculum, we anticipate that all residents, regardless of their future career choice will be better able to understand and critically appraise the literature. We have not yet piloted our evaluation tools, having developed them this year. This information will be important to better understand, from the resident perspective, the strengths and limitations of our curriculum.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the process of designing and conducting clinical research investigations, especially the process of formulating and answering a research question.
- Define characteristics of a good research question.
- Demonstrate knowledge of research designs, sampling strategies, basic biostatistics and data analytic techniques, and data management principles.
- Identify and efficiently locate the best available information resources to identify gaps in the scientific literature and address clinical and research questions.
- Generate answerable research questions and use information technology to gather information and support decision-making.
- Gain knowledge and understanding of the scientific method by actively participating in the design and writing of a research protocol.
- Conduct the research activities applicable to the specified project, and acquire any skills necessary to do so (e.g., relevant laboratory techniques and computer skills).
- Learn to specify a practical and appropriate time line for accomplishing tasks required to complete a research study.
- Collaborate and communicate effectively with mentor, research project partners, and faculty supervisors on projects.
- Demonstrate effective skills in scientific communication by presenting research plans and results to colleagues.
- Identify and describe the ethical principles that serve as the foundation for the following clinical interactions and professional responsibilities.
- Define key principles and identify resources for definitive information about legal issues relevant to pediatricians, such as informed consent and HIPAA regulations.
- Conducts research according to the highest ethical standards.
- Discuss the ethics of research, including subject recruitment, informed consent, patient privacy, and the role of institutional review boards.
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