To fulfill our mission to teach residents how to do research, we have created a dedicated elective course directed by Dr. Mukamal. Residents planning to do research first choose a mentor and a project, and then take this two-week course early in the PGY2 year. First offered in 2005, the course prepares residents for clinical, translational, educational, or health care quality research.
The course is a brief but rigorous introduction to research methods, grant and paper writing, and mentorship. Residents come to the course with an abstract of their project plans, which are then expanded and developed in workshops with other residents and research faculty tutors. At the same time, residents receive seminars on study design, career development, and cutting-edge translational research methods. Each resident receives a practical yet comprehensive textbook written at the resident level, Designing Clinical Research. At the end of the course, residents present their proposals in a dedicated seminar.
Besides showing residents how to apply research methods to designing their own projects, this course introduces them to people key to their progress: biostatisticians, experts in study design, the directors of core research facilities, the staff of the Clinical Research Center, and administrators of the Institutional Review Board for human studies.
Residents also receive career advice focused on building an academic career, including giving research talks, preparing manuscripts, and grant writing, and enjoy informal lunches with members of the research faculty of the Department of Medicine. Faculty discuss their personal research careers - how they got to where they are in their careers and how they fit their research and clinical careers into their personal and family lives. By showcasing a variety of faculty - younger and older, clinical, translational and bench investigators, men and women - we hope to show residents a range of role models, who illustrate that there are many paths to a research career.
Although the course changes every year to reflect updated research methods and resources, a sample course schedule can be seen here.