Background and objectives: This study's purpose was to measure the current status of research funding and mentoring in family medicine residencies and to ascertain what resources are needed to increase residencies' research output.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional survey of family medicine residency program directors in the United States. We measured grant funding sources, availability of mentors, the likelihood programs could qualify for National Institutes of Health (NIH) K awards, barriers to research, and how these factors varied by program type.
Results: The response rate was 66% (298/453). Medical school-based programs were much more likely to report that their family medicine faculty wrote funded research grants than were community-based medical school affiliated programs (76% versus 32%). The majority of both program types reported that research mentors were available (85% versus 60%). Very few programs of either type were likely to meet the minimum requirements for NIH K01, K08, or K23 awards (29% for medical school programs versus 3% for community programs). The most commonly reported specific resources needed to increase research output were time, money, and more faculty (range 86% to 92% between program types).
Conclusions: The majority of family medicine residencies did not receive grant funding for research, reported that time and money were the most significant barriers to research, but were ineligible to receive support from NIH K awards. More realistic funding mechanisms are needed to support residency-based research faculty.