Original Article

A National Evaluation of Scholarly Activity Requirement in Osteopathic EM Residency Programs: Survey of EM Program Directors

Authors: Alexander Kirkpatrick, DO, Tom Doran, DO, David Mullins, DO, David Gnugnoli, DO, John Ashurst, DO, MSc


Objectives: The objectives of the study were to determine the percentage of osteopathic emergency medicine (EM) residencies that require an original research project to meet the American Osteopathic Association requirement, describe the resources available to the residents and faculty members to complete their projects, and determine resident and faculty research productivity.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional online survey of program directors from osteopathic EM residency programs. Participants were asked about demographics and specifics related to their program’s research curriculum, which included resources, outcomes, and challenges.

Results: The response rate was 48.21% (27/56) of program directors from EM residencies. The majority (82.77%) of respondents were from a community-based EM program, had a requirement that a research project be completed before graduation from residency (87.5%), and did not have a research associate program to assist in recruiting patients (83.33%). A physician research director was noted to lead the department in 53.57% of respondents, whereas 70.83% noted having a statistician on staff. A total of 2.91% of program faculty had received federal grant funding, and 13.88% had a research study indexed in PubMed. EM programs that had a physician-led research director were more likely to have core faculty with federal funding, articles indexed in PubMed, residents who submit their research for publication, and residents with competitive grants, as compared with programs without a research director. Program directors noted that analyzing data, designing a study, and generating a hypothesis were the biggest challenges to conducting research in the residency.

Conclusions: Osteopathic EM residencies significantly differ from their allopathic counterparts in their research curriculum, capabilities, and outcomes.

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