Improvement in Resident Scholarly Output with Implementation of a Scholarly Activity Guideline and Point System

West J Emerg Med. 2023 Sep;24(5):861-867. doi: 10.5811/westjem.60346.


Introduction: Ensuring high-quality scholarly output by graduate medical trainees can be a challenge. Within many specialties, including emergency medicine (EM), it is unclear what constitutes appropriate resident scholarly activity. We hypothesized that the quantity and quality of scholarly activity would improve with a clearer guideline, including a point system for eligible scholarly activities. Methods: A resident Scholarly Activity Guideline was implemented for EM residents in a university setting. The guideline consists of a point system in which point values, ranging from 1-10, are assigned to various types of scholarly activities. Residents must earn at least 10 points and present their work to meet their scholarly graduation requirement. We tracked scholarly activities for graduates from the classes of 2014-2020, with the guideline being implemented for the class of 2016. In a blind analysis, we compared median total points per resident, mean counts of the Boyer model of scholarship components per resident, and mean counts of significant scholarly output per resident before vs after the guideline was implemented. Significant scholarly output was defined as an implemented protocol, a research project with data collection and analysis, a research abstract presentation, or an oral abstract presentation. Results: Among 64 residents analyzed, 48 residents used the guideline. We found that median points per resident increased after the guideline was implemented (median, interquartile range: before 7 [7], after 11 [10, 13], P = 0.002). Post-guideline scholarly activities were found to represent more of Boyer's components of scholarship [mean before 0.81 [SD 0.40], mean after 1.52 [SD 0.71], mean difference 0.71, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.332 ± 1.09, P < 0.001. There was no difference in the mean significant scholarly output per resident (mean before 1.38 [SD 1.02], mean after 1.02 [SD 1.00], mean difference 0.35, 95% CI 0.93 ± 0.23, P = 0.23). Conclusion: Implementation of a Scholarly Activity Guideline point system significantly increased the quantity and, by one of two measures, increased the quality of scholarly output in our program. Our point-based guideline successfully incorporated traditional and modern forms of scholarship that can be tailored to resident interests.

MeSH terms

  • Data Collection
  • Emergency Medicine*
  • Humans
  • Research Design
  • Universities