The pursuit of scholarship: Why we should care about resident research

Joan E. Bechtold, Benjamin R. Williams, Stuart L. Weinstein, David W. Polly, Andrew J. Pugely, Joseph A. Buckwalter, Stephen A. Albanese, Kevin J. Bozic, Brian D. Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Research is a foundational component of an orthopaedic residency. It fosters intellectual curiosity and pursuit of excellence, while teaching discipline and the scientific method. These are the key principles for careers in both community-based practice and academia. Currently, no consensus exists on how to best engage residents and support their research endeavors. In 2014, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Board of Specialty Societies Research and Quality Committee convened a Clinician-Scientist Collaboration Workgroup. The workgroup's task was to identify barriers to clinical and basic science research, and to propose feasible recommendations to overcome these barriers. Herein, we have compiled the opinions of various stakeholder constituencies on how to foster scholarly pursuits during an orthopaedic residency. These opinions reflect the workgroup's conclusions that research is directly and indirectly influenced by funding, departmental support, and mentorship, and that early exposure and dedicated time to pursue scholarly activities may have a positive impact on lifelong research interests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e119
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery - American Volume
Issue number22
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The orthopaedic research programs supported by the NIH depend on research exposure during early academic training. Residency is an ideal time for physicians to develop interest, skills, and knowledge because the majority of programs are in an academic setting with access to mentorship and institu- tional support. Participation can and should be a standard component of the residency curriculum, and programs should support residents with a keen interest in scientific investigation. This will lead to a well-trained cadre of surgeons who are both consumers of the latest evidence and participants in the research enterprise.

Funding Information:
Barrier: Extramural and foundation funding is increasingly more difficult to obtain, collaborative research funding opportunities are rare, and industry funding has numerous restrictions. Recommendation: Advocate for increased governmental funding and participate with foundations to solicit philanthropic donations. Utilize resources and prepared materials from the AAOS, the Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS), and other groups to educate legislators on the importance of scholarly activity. Recommendation: Acquire funds from OREF, the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM), the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF), the Arthritis Foundation, etc. as a way to enable use of industry funding with fewer potential conflicts.

Funding Information:
As they take on projects requiring more funds and personnel, residents may look for funding locally, regionally, and nationally; one example of funding is the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF), which offers >$100,000 annually for resident research. Departmental funding for resident travel to research meetings is also key in allowing residents to share findings with the broader orthopaedic community, creating a sense of accomplishment and interest in additional research endeavors.

Funding Information:
The National Institutes of Health (NIH), and specifically the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), is the primary source of funding for musculoskeletal research. Although the majority of NIH support is awarded postresidency, it is important to foster research interest throughout medical education. A minority of residents will continue on this path, but it is vital to nurture these individuals through excellent mentorship and exposure to quality research throughout early training, ensuring a robust pipeline of clinician-scientists.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 By the journal of bone and joint surgery, incorporated.


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