Objective: To determine how pediatric emergency medicine (PEM) fellowship directors organize research training and to identify factors believed to be associated with successful research training.
Methods: A 16-question survey study of PEM fellowship directors.
Results: Of the 58 fellowship directors surveyed, 39 (67%) responded. Of 38 programs, PEM faculty from 20 (53%) served as research mentors for PEM fellows. The mean percentage of PEM faculty who had performed peer-review funded research was 26%. The mean number of trainee research months was 10.9 for 3 years. Of these research months, 93% were not protected (included clinical work hours). Only 5 programs provided some completely protected research months (months without any clinical work hours), and none of these were scheduled in blocks of greater than 3 consecutive months. Most (56%) of these research months were scheduled during the third year of training. The most likely explanations of the fellow successfully becoming research competent were eagerness to apply self and number of research months during training. Least likely explanations were faculty with peer-reviewed funded grants and blocks of research time. Thirty-five fellowship directors (90%) believed that upon completion of the training, their fellows would be research competent.
Conclusions: Besides the fellow's eagerness to apply self, scheduling adequate time for research was reported as a highly important factor in achieving research competency among PEM fellows. Providing protected (no clinical responsibilities) research months to fellows and arranging more opportunities for PEM faculty to serve as research mentors may maintain or possibly improve the likelihood of PEM fellows to becoming research competent.