Purpose: Meaningful participation in research for both faculty and residents is generally viewed to be an essential component of residency training. To better understand best practices in residency research, the authors conducted a survey among Internal Medicine (IM) Residency Programs with experience in research. Methods: Phone interviews were conducted with a convenience sample of Residency Program Directors (PDs). Survey responses were analyzed across the following domains: size and makeup of the residency and research programs, resources for research, role of the PD/research director (RD), profile of trainees doing research, curriculum description, scope of research, role of mentors, career choices and determinants of success. Results: Fifteen programs were included in the study. Across these programs, approximately two-thirds of residents were involved in research during their training. Eighty percent of the programs required an application for residents to engage in research. Ninety-two percent of the programs had a RD but only 58% had a formal research curriculum. Clinical research projects were the most common types of research. On average, two-thirds of residents involved in research submitted abstracts to regional and/or national meetings. The factor most frequently associated with resident research success was an effective faculty research mentor. Conclusions: Research success during residency is multifactorial. The authors propose that having a robust structure for research that is led by a residency RD, and the presence of effective mentors and strong administrative support are critical for success.
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