Shea, Judy A. PhD
Welcome to the 2010 RIME program and the Academic Medicine RIME supplement.
In recent years a tradition has developed for the RIME Program Development Committee (PDC) chair to compose a foreword for the annual Academic Medicine supplement that comprises the accepted RIME research and review papers and an occasional “other” paper. In reviewing what my predecessors have written I was reminded that this foreword serves at least three purposes: a map of the upcoming meeting, an accounting of the RIME submissions, and a public expression of gratitude. I will do those things briefly and close with some reflections from the RIME PDC, and some thoughts about what you might expect for next year.
The layout of the RIME program is very similar to recent years. We kept with the relatively recent schedule that begins on Sunday morning with two RIME research paper sessions and a symposium. We continue on Monday afternoon with multiple options: research paper presentations, a review paper session, and a second symposium. The RIME Section meeting—open to all—is late Monday afternoon. The ever popular poster session is Monday evening. Tuesday is a full day. RIME sessions begin in midmorning with the RIME invited address. This year we are fortunate that David Dinges, PhD, professor and chief, Division of Sleep and Chronobiology at the University of Pennsylvania, will present a talk titled “Sleep need and fatigue management: Critical roles for professionalism and medical education.” This will be followed by multiple research paper sessions and a second review paper session. Wednesday morning comprises eight oral abstract presentation sessions, scheduled four at a time but hopefully following a synchronized schedule to allow audience members to move between sessions. Dr. Joanna Bates has graciously agreed to lead the RIME wrap-up session. Of note, this is just a picture of the official RIME program. Intermingled with our program are multiple region and section meetings, GEA offerings, MERC workshops, and a host of important and interesting sessions sponsored by other sections and groups.
In terms of the accounting, there were 76 research paper submissions—24 were accepted. There were 7 review paper submissions—2 were accepted. There were 275 abstract submissions—48 were accepted for podium presentations and 68 of the remainder were accepted for poster presentations. Two symposia are also on the program. We anticipate both will be highly thought-provoking and participatory. On Sunday morning we have “Educational Research in Diversity and Inclusion: Questions to Answer and Successful Approaches to Use,” a session cosponsored by the Group on Diversity and Inclusion. On Tuesday afternoon we have “Moving From Learner to Practicing Physician: What Are the Questions? How Can We Begin to Answer Them?” The research papers and review papers are too numerous to mention. They can be found in full in the following pages.
Now for the gratitude and acknowledgments. I proceed with the caveat that the people listed here are only the most obvious. The danger in making such a list is that someone obvious is overlooked—if so, I apologize in advance.
First, of course, are the authors for both the papers that appear in this supplement and those that were not accepted. These folks, along with all of those who submitted abstracts and review papers, took the time to plan and do their projects, write the summaries, and meet the submission requirements. Without you we would have no RIME conference and certainly no supplement, so thank you.
Next in line are the reviewers. The list of those who completed reviews is on page Siii. We know it can be a bit painful to complete these reviews, but they really are helpful to the PDC and to the authors. Having been on both sides of writing and receiving reviews, and now finishing my third year on the RIME PDC, I can honestly say that as I composed the accept and reject letters to the authors I always relied on the insights provided by the external reviewers. In every case, they see and say something that I did not. This year the RIME PDC and abstract authors were the beneficiaries of an initiative spearheaded by Drs. Paul Hemmer, Steve Durning, and Patricia O'Sullivan for the RIME Section. The overall goal was to create a cadre of well-trained reviewers, starting with abstracts. To that end, experienced investigators at 10 institutions agreed to identify a small number of junior (or new to medical education) colleagues who would be trained to review abstracts. As a group they committed to providing at least three independent reviews for multiple abstracts. We hope this was a win–win situation. It certainly was from the PDC perspective. Thank you, Pat, Paul, Steve, and all of you new reviewers. If you want to review again next year, please contact M. Brownell Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org, or your RIME regional representative.
Thanks also go to the RIME Steering Committee, in particular the chair, Dr. Patricia O'Sullivan. Many members of that group provided ongoing, useful feedback. A particularly important liaison is with the RIME Nominating Committee, chaired by Dr. Paul Hemmer. We work closely with them, outlining our methodological and content needs as two or three members of our committee complete their terms each year. And, of course, we continue to be indebted to Dr. Steve Kanter and the staff of Academic Medicine for providing us the opportunity to publish these proceedings. It is widely recognized that a tangible benefit of submitting a RIME paper is the opportunity for a short-turnaround publication in a high-quality journal.
Finally, I would like to thank the current RIME PDC (their names are listed on pages Siv. We are a diverse bunch of individuals with differing worldviews, research traditions, and personal preferences for the kinds of studies we like. We work very hard for a couple of months each spring and throughout the annual meeting. Each year we bond well and share many laughs. In particular, I benefited under the tutelage of Dr. Steve Durning, the past RIME chair. His copious notes and attention to detail meant that my job was really quite easy. And of course we work closely with M. Brownell Anderson and Caroline Coleman. Between the two of them, they “herd the cats” and keep us on target.
And now for the reflections. To compose this list I asked each RIME PDC member to reflect on the RIME research paper submissions and submit a single brief phrase (10–12 words) for what always impresses and what almost surely guarantees a reject.
Starting with the “always impresses” list, I am fairly certain there is nothing here that we haven't all heard and read multiple times (List 1). But, one thing that I took away from the list was that there were a lot of comments that refer to the “whole.” Yes, we want each section to be well done and clearly presented, but it is a bonus when the whole package is aligned and coordinated.
There is a little less unanimity on the other side—this is often where our idiosyncratic buttons are pushed (List 2). Nevertheless, it is instructive to review the list and be reminded that lack of clarity in writing as well as purpose will likely hurt an otherwise well-done paper. Incorrect and incomplete analyses are also a distraction. And it almost always matters when directions are not followed.
In terms of next year, it is a bit early to know for sure, but no huge changes are anticipated. We will continue to request submissions for research papers, research abstracts, review papers, and symposia. Look for the call in December 2010. We will continue to work with the editors and staff at Academic Medicine to clarify issues that come up perennially surrounding issues such as IRB statements (or lack thereof) and duplicate publication of large parts of papers. We might change the format for oral abstract presentations to make them shorter and punchier, and we might work with the RIME Section Steering Committee to again coordinate the reviewer training–abstract review process. During our deliberations in the fall that begin immediately after the final session, we will begin to resolve some of these issues. And, of course, we are always open to new ideas.
We think we have put together a very good conference and we hope you agree!
Judy A. Shea, PhD
Chair, Rime Program Committee 2010