HomeProfessionalsCareer DevelopmentFellowsInnovations in Fellowship Education2015 ▶ Innovative Research Curriculum to Formalize and Encourage Clinical Research in a Community Based Pulmonary Fellowship Program
Innovative Research Curriculum to Formalize and Encourage Clinical Research in a Community Based Pulmonary Fellowship Program

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center
Jamaica, NY

Program Director: Craig Thurm, MD

Program Type: Pulmonary Medicine
Abstract Authors: Khalid Sherani, MD, Abhay Vakil, MD, Alan Fein, MD, Kelly Cervellione

Pulmonary trainees are required to study research methodology and conduct research studies as part of the ACGME training requirement. Community hospital-based fellowship programs often face unique challenges in fulfilling this requirement. Some of these challenges include lack of optimal dedicated research time, regular established training for research methodology and busy research mentors. Our Pulmonary Medicine fellowship program was founded in June 2011. We report our unique programmatic development to overcome these barriers, thereby, generating a favorable environment for the fellows to conduct high quality research.

We developed a research committee in June 2013 with a primary aim of facilitating research activities and enhancing the research-related educational experience. The research committee consists of the program director, chairman of the research department, chief-fellow and two research coordinators. The committee interviews all the fellows at beginning of their fellowship to know their research interests. It also interviews the faculty members to discuss their ongoing research projects and introduces them to the research ideas and interests of the fellows. The committee serves as a bridge to develop a research-related relationship between the faculty members and the fellows. The committee meets every month to discuss progress of the ongoing research projects.

In addition the committee, in accordance with the ongoing research projects and the interests of the fellows, schedules biweekly conferences. Statistical aspects related to ongoing research projects are discussed during these conferences. The committee has developed a research curriculum which is imparted to the fellows during a scheduled conference once a month. This curriculum involves the basics of conducting clinical research and biostatistics. Experts from multiple disciplines (statistics, library, laboratory technicians, research pharmacy etc.) involved in clinical research at our hospital are involved in educating the fellows during these conferences.

The committee also schedules biweekly conferences where fellows are encouraged to present interesting case reports and abstracts for submission to national and international conferences as well as journals. All faculty members are present during such conferences and help in editing the abstracts, papers and case reports.

After the establishment of the research committee and implementation of the curriculum and various conferences the involvement of fellows as well as faculty members in research-related activities has increased. The number of ongoing research projects and submissions as well as presentations at national and international conferences has increased tremendously. At the same time submission of case reports and papers for publication as well as number of publications has increased. Fellows now feel confident in conducting clinical research as well as in statistically analyzing/interpreting the data independently. They also feel more satisfied with the excellent research experience that they have at our pulmonary fellowship program.
(See table 1 for details)


Table 1: Research related variables during one academic year before and after establishment of research committee and implementation of research curriculum



Establishment of a research committee with a research curriculum is a simple, yet effective way to enhance research experience and training of the fellows; especially in community-based pulmonary programs.