Research during Pediatric Residency: Predictors and Resident-Determined Influences

Ullrich, Nicole MD, PhD; Botelho, Christine A. MPH; Hibberd, Patricia MD, PhD; Bernstein, Henry H. DO

Academic Medicine:
Research Report
Abstract

Purpose: Participation in research during residency is thought to be a strong predictor of future research activity; however, the proportion of residents who actually engage in research is small. This study examined (1) which factors are associated with research during residency; (2) which factors influence residents’ abilities to conduct research; and (3) the number of residents conducting research in a research-oriented training program.

Method: One hundred fifteen pediatrics residents were asked at a housestaff retreat to complete a questionnaire about their attitudes toward research. Comparisons between those who were or were not conducting research during residency were made using chi-square or Fisher exact tests; stepwise logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with conducting research during residency.

Results: The response rate was 95% (n = 110, or 82% of the residency program). Respondents were representative of postgraduate year, gender, and residency track. Although 92% of respondents reported having conducted research before residency, only 18% were currently involved in research (p < .001). Fifty-five percent reported interest in conducting research. Advanced degrees and future career plans influenced their decisions to do research (p < .05). Respondents were more likely to conduct clinical research than basic science or laboratory-based research (14% versus 3% of all respondents, p = .007). The most commonly identified influences to conducting research were availability of time (97%), personal interest in research (84%), availability of opportunities (76%), and mentors on hand (72%).

Conclusion: Interest in research during residency is high, but participation in research is low. There are several influences to the types and amounts of research conducted during pediatrics residency.

Author Information

Dr. Ullrich is clinical fellow in neurology and Dr. Bernstein is associate chief, general pediatrics, both at Children's Hospital Boston, Massachusetts; Dr. Hibberd is director and Ms. Botehlo is project editor, both at Clinical Research Institute at Tufts-New England Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts.

Correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to Nicole Ullrich, MD, PhD, Department of Neurology, Children's Hospital, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115; phone: (617) 355-6363; fax: (617) 277-0708; e-mail: 〈nicole.ullrich@tch.harvard.edu〉.

© 2003 Association of American Medical Colleges