Tag Archives: Research

Qualitative Research: How an Educational Project Changed the Way I Think About Research

Joanna L Drowos DO, MPH, MBA

Joanna L Drowos DO, MPH, MBA

Approximately 60 seconds into the jubilation over my acceptance to the prestigious Harvard Macy Institute Course for Educators in the Health Professions, I came to the stark realization that I would now need to develop a scholarly project at my own institution. Though somewhat daunting as a junior faculty member at a very young medical school, this presented an exciting opportunity to gain more knowledge and experience in medical education.

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Grabbing Ahold of the Research Ropes

Kyle Bradford Jones, MD

Kyle Bradford Jones, MD

One of the most common challenges faced by new faculty is how to get a good handle on research. The transition to academic medicine is a difficult one, whether coming directly out of residency or from a different practice setting. It can often present confusion on expectations and how to achieve your desired goals.

If you are anything like me, you were likely a little naïve about what may be required to pull off successful research projects. Dealing with the internal review board (IRB), leading a research team, understanding the ins and outs of applying for grant funding, properly fulfilling IRB and grant requirements after approval, knowing the best place to submit your manuscript, dealing with publishers and editors, and other steps in the process can cause anxiety and confusion.

To avoid anxiety and confusion as you start your research and career, seek out a mentor, collaborate wisely, pursue your interests, learn all that you can about the funding game, and be persistent.

Seek mentorship

The importance of a good mentor cannot be overstated. Finding someone, preferably at your own institution, can help with many of the little things that you may not anticipate. A mentor at your home institution can steer you to someone who knows how the local IRB works or to someone who can ensure your grant is submitted properly. Even understanding the differences between the types of grants, such as an R18 or R21, and which one may best fit your level of expertise and type of research can be invaluable and save you a lot of time. It is ideal if your mentor is in a similar research area. However, due to the competitive nature of research, some colleagues in your home institution may prefer not to be a mentor.

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STFM’s Secret Is Out: We Care About Research

Stacy Brungardt, CAE STFM Executive Director

Stacy Brungardt, CAE
STFM Executive Director

Psst…want to know a secret? STFM wants to be the authority in innovation and research in medical education. Kind of cool, right?

The problem is, this really isn’t supposed to be a secret. Despite our commitment to research in activities and dollars, STFM can improve on communicating how high a priority this is for the Society. Our interest in research generally remains a secret that is known only to those who sit on our Research Committee and Board of Directors. For the sake of the discipline, STFM needs to be seen as a leader in promoting research activities that have an impact and a place where faculty are inspired and learners are engaged in the generation of new knowledge.

To gain this presence, we need the right combination of scholars and resources, and, yes, communications about what we are doing. We have some brilliant scholars within our membership who work hard to review journal manuscripts, develop skill building research sessions at our conferences, and collaborate with CAFM Educational Research Alliance PIs.

For the resource piece, STFM invested more than $300,000 last year to advance scholarship through the following initiatives:

  • Family Medicine – Submissions continue to rise for STFM’s flagship journal.
  • Annals of Family Medicine – STFM is third largest financial contributor to Annals.
  • Grant Generating Project – STFM is one of three financial partners in the Grant Generating Project.
  • CAFM Educational Research Alliance – Currently six manuscripts have already been submitted for publication from CERA, and we anticipate several more within the next 2 months. This is all within the first year of existence of CERA. We’ve only scratched the surface of the potential of this initiative.
  • Fifty four podium presentations and 180 posters at our annual meeting – including skill building sessions and educational and clinical research findings. Every year, one of our four plenary slots is reserved for research. We also have dozens of research posters at our other conferences.
  • Best Research Paper Award – The list of research leaders on this list is impressive.
  • Research Advocacy – This is still in its infancy, but advocacy for increased research funding is now an advocacy priority for the family.
  • National Research Network – Our Conference on Practice Improvement is the home for presentations and meetings of the National Research Network. We see a great linkage between practice improvement and the translation of the research coming out of the network.
  • Family Medicine Research wiki – The Group on Research in Residency offers a great but relatively unknown resource to help build research capacity. Topics include: Getting Started with Family Medicine Research, Journal Clubs & Critical Appraisal, Scholarly Projects in Residency Training, IRB Issues and Participant Safety, Writing A Research Paper, Reviewing a Manuscript, and more.
  • Management Contract with the North American Primary Care Research Group – STFM provides the staff to run NAPCRG. We do this because we believe that NAPCRG can do things that STFM can’t to advance the generation of new knowledge.

There is much more that needs to be done to move forward the scholarship of our discipline. STFM should lead research initiatives that align with our educational mission and collaborate with others to develop our faculty and learners’ skills in educational research and innovation.

Please help us spread the word.