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Investigating Barriers to Research among Residents and Fellows at a Large Academic Institution
Investigating Barriers to Research among Residents and Fellows at a Large Academic Institution
Submitted on 17 Feb 2017

Aaron C. Denson, MD, Kellee Oller, MD, James Palmer, MD, Amy Fioramonte, PhD.
The University of South Florida, Tampa, FL.
This poster was presented at USF Research Day 2017
Poster Views: 46
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Poster Abstract
The objective of the study is to evaluate what barriers to scholarly activity are perceived by residents and fellows at a major research institution

The study included an online survey, using Qualtrics, emailed to all residents and fellows in the University of South Florida. Prior to starting the study, the participants were asked to give informed consent to participate. No identifying data was collected. Demographic data was collected regarding the overall nature of the respondent’s practice. Questions centered on their perceived barriers to conducting research and which, if any, solutions they may support

202 residents and fellows responded to the survey. Respondents were from 30 specialties including Internal Medicine (22%), Radiology (11%), Pediatrics (8%), OB/Gyn (6%), Neurology, (5%), General Surgery (4%), and others. Of those respondents, 86% reported to be interested in participating in scholarly activity and 103 (59%) felt that the research environment at the University of South Florida was average or better. The most common suggestions for improvement included increasing protected time for scholarly activity and creating a dedicated scholarly activity director within each program.

The results of the survey supported our belief that residents find scholarly activity to be an important part of their training. Although previous studies have identified a lack of protected time as a barrier, those surveyed identified a lack of structure as a major concern that has likely been unrecognized. Residents and fellows support the idea of a scholarly activity leader to provide structure and assist with problems that often arise in the process. Our findings contradict an often held belief that residents and fellows who perform limited scholarly activity do so secondary to a lack of interest or will. Our results indicate that a system wide deficit in resources may be limiting participation of certain residents and fellows. We are recommending systemic changes in the structure of residency and fellowship training at our institution in order to better accommodate the needs of our trainees. More studies will be required to assess the impact and significance of these changes as well as monitor how the perceived barriers are changing over time. We recognize the limitations of a small sample size and a single institution study, and that our results may not apply to other institutions.

1. Gill, S., et al., Obstacles to Residents' Conducting Research and Predictors of Publication. Academic Medicine, 2001. 76(5): p. 477.
2. Rothberg, M.B., Overcoming the obstacles to research during residency: What does it take? JAMA, 2012. 308(21): p. 2191-2192.
3. Takahashi, O., et al., Residents’ Experience of Scholarly Activities is Associated with Higher Satisfaction with Residency Training. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 2009. 24(6): p. 716-720.
4. Abramson, E.L., et al., Research training among pediatric residency programs: a national assessment. Acad Med, 2014. 89(12): p. 1674-80.
5. Levine, R.B., R.S. Hebert, and S.M. Wright, Resident Research and Scholarly Activity in Internal Medicine Residency Training Programs. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 2005. 20(2): p. 155-159.
6. Clancy, A.A. and G. Posner, Attitudes Toward Research During Residency: A Survey of Canadian Residents in Obstetrics and Gynecology. J Surg Educ, 2015. 72(5): p. 836-43.
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