Focused Research Infrastructure for Postgraduate Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellows Increases Dissemination of Scholarly Work

AEM Educ Train. 2019 Nov 22;4(3):231-238. doi: 10.1002/aet2.10402. eCollection 2020 Jul.


Background: Many fellows in clinically driven subspecialties may have difficulty completing and publishing their scholarly projects due to lack of prior experience in research, selection of projects that are difficult to complete during fellowship, or mentorship challenges. This may be particularly true in pediatric emergency medicine (PEM) because research time may be longitudinally integrated with clinical rotations, rather than blocked as is common in other subspecialties. We describe the creation and outcomes of a structured program to increase academic productivity of PEM fellows.

Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study of scholarly productivity (publications in peer-reviewed journals, presentation at national meetings) for PEM fellows over 17 years in one fellowship program, before and after the implementation of a structured program. We reviewed obstacles to publication for prior fellow projects when developing the curriculum. Our multifaceted program consisted of milestone development, four in-person committee meetings, and abstract and manuscript development workshops. We utilized existing faculty members, most of whom were junior faculty, as committee members. Our primary outcome was the percentage of fellows who were first authors for peer-reviewed publications for their fellowship projects. National conference presentations were the secondary outcome.

Results: Data for 76 PEM fellows were eligible for analysis: 44 (58%) before and 32 after programmatic implementation. There was a statistically significant increase in the percentage of fellows who published their studies (32% vs. 63%; odds ratio [OR] = 3.6, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.4 to 9.3) after programmatic implementation. There were no differences in conference presentations (45% vs. 63%; OR = 2.0, 95% CI = 0.8-5.1) after implementation.

Conclusions: Utilizing a small group of existing, predominantly junior faculty members, we created a structured program that enhanced PEM fellows' scholarly productivity and increased publications. We believe that this model is sustainable for and generalizable to other PEM fellowship programs.