All resident must complete one of the following requirements during their residency training:
- Quality assurance project (chart review); or
- Systematic review or meta-analysis; or
- Clinical trial or questionnaire study
You can choose the type of project that best suits your interests and study question. The most practical choice is likely either a quality assurance project or a systematic review as these studies don’t require funding, you don’t have to recruit patients and get consent and in the case of a systematic review, you don’t need to get Research Ethics Board approval. Most research ideas are born from your clinical practice when questions about diagnosis or treatment arise but if you have trouble coming up with ideas you should talk to your staff or browse the research presentations from previous Resident Exchange Days.
All PGY-1 residents will take a research methodology course in the fall term. This course is the introduction course for the Health Research Methodology masters program. The required assignments involve identifying a research question, reviewing the literature and writing a protocol with the proposed methods. Residents can carry this proposal forward for their research project or have the option of choosing something different once they have more clinical anesthesia experience. Once a study question is identified, residents need to find a staff member to act as a research supervisor. This person will be responsible for overseeing and assessing the research project. If you have trouble finding a supervisor, contact Toni Tidy or Dr. James Paul in the Anesthesia Research Office.
When planning any kind of project, residents are encouraged to work in teams, either with medical students and/or other residents. It helps to have a group of people to tackle a project.
Once the study question, project type, team members and supervisor have been identified, the next step is to do complete the Research Project application form. The purpose of this form is to ensure the project is appropriate and that you have the necessary supports in place. Once approved, you should complete a literature review on the topic, write the introduction for the paper and the last section of the introduction should clearly state the study question. Then the proposed methods for the study need to be written. The goal should be to write both the introduction and methods sections in enough detail that they would be sufficient for publication. You then need to submit the project for REB approval. REB approval is mandatory (except in the case of a systematic review) before any data collection takes place. The Department’s research website has a list of past student projects under the Exchange Day section and Research Interest Group and Retreats to give you an idea of what is a good student project.
There are some grants available to residents and the Department of Anesthesia will provide matching funds to help support the projects as required. Residents are encouraged to submit their abstract to both the ASA and CAS Annual Meetings. Residents that are accepted to present their work at these meetings will have their travel costs covered by the Department. Residents are allowed to take research elective time outside of the operating room when they are not booked in off-service rotations. The Program Director and the Research Chair must approve the research electives and residents must have REB approval for their project before taking such an elective.
Before completion of residency training, the expectation is that all residents will present at least once during their residency training at Resident Exchange Day, which is held in June of each year in conjunction with the University of Western Ontario. This presentation can be either the methods of a planned project or the results of a completed study. The Program offers prizes to those residents who place first, second or third.
Dr. James Paul
June 26, 2014