A framework for improving resident research participation and scholarly output

J Surg Educ. Jan-Feb 2014;71(1):8-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2013.07.011. Epub 2013 Sep 17.


Objectives: The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education requires that "faculty should encourage and support residents in scholarly activities." There are no guidelines, however, to illustrate how this should be done, and only a small number of published reports offer examples of successful efforts to spur resident research. We sought to improve our residents' participation in scholarly activities.

Design: We describe a multifaceted program to quickly build resident scholarship at an orthopaedic department.

Setting: Large academic medical center in the Midwestern United States.

Participants: An experienced medical editor was recruited to assist faculty and mentor residents in coordinating research projects and to direct publishing activity. Additional publishing requirements were added to the resident curriculum beyond those already required by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Residents were required to select a faculty research mentor to guide all research projects toward a manuscript suitable for submission to a peer-reviewed journal. Activities were monitored by the editor and the resident coordinator.

Results: Over 4 years, total department peer-reviewed publications increased from 33 to 163 annually. Despite a decrease in resident complement, the number of peer-reviewed publications with a resident author increased from 6 in 2009 to 53 in 2012.

Conclusions: The addition of an experienced medical editor, changes in program requirements, and an increased commitment to promotion of resident research across the faculty led to a dramatic increase in resident publications. Our changes may be a model for other programs that have the financial resources and faculty commitment necessary to achieve a rapid turnaround.

Keywords: Medical Knowledge; Practice-Based Learning and Improvement; Professionalism; Resident education; publications; resident research; scholarship.

MeSH terms

  • Internship and Residency / methods*
  • Motivation
  • Research* / statistics & numerical data