Research during pediatric residency training: outcome of a senior resident block rotation

Robert J Vinci, Howard Bauchner, Jonathan Finkelstein, P K Newby, Sharon Muret-Wagstaff, Frederick H Lovejoy
Pediatrics 2009, 124 (4): 1126-34

BACKGROUND: The Pediatric Residency Review Committee requires programs to provide a curriculum that advances residents' knowledge of the basic principles of research. In July 2002, the Boston Combined Residency Program instituted a 3-month career-development block (CDB) rotation. During the rotation residents pursue an academic or clinical project under mentorship by a faculty member.

OBJECTIVE: Our objective for this study was to evaluate the outcome of the CDB rotation since it was implemented.

METHODS: A survey was administered to 165 residents who completed the CDB rotation.

RESULTS: Of 165 residents, 136 (82%) responded to the survey. Of 122 residents who reported the type of project they conducted, 59 (48%) completed a clinical/health services project, 24 (20%) completed a project in education or curriculum development, and 7 (6%) worked in basic science. Thirty-five residents (27%) received funding to support their work. Thirty-five residents (26%) presented at national meetings such as the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting. Fifteen (11%) residents have had manuscripts accepted for publication, and 22 (16%) additional residents have submitted manuscripts for publication. Factors associated with successful publication included having received funding (odds ratio: 3.37 [95% confidence interval: 1.34-8.42]) and the nature of the research project (odds ratio: 3.55 [95% confidence interval: 1.40-9.04]). The majority of residents (84%) stated that the CDB rotation enhanced residency training.

CONCLUSIONS: A dedicated academic rotation that includes protected time, senior faculty mentorship, and program funding, can lead to productive research accomplishments by pediatric residents. Support of academic work during residency training may encourage engagement in a variety of academically oriented activities.

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