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Research Training Among Pediatric Residency Programs: A National Assessment

Abramson, Erika L. MD, MSc; Naifeh, Monique M. MD, MPH; Stevenson, Michelle D. MD, MS; Todd, Christopher MD; Henry, Emilie D. MD; Chiu, Ya-Lin MS; Gerber, Linda M. PhD; Li, Su-Ting T. MD, MPH

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000000404
Research Reports

Purpose The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) states that “residents should participate in scholarly activity.” However, there is little guidance for effectively integrating scholarly activity into residency. This study was conducted to understand how pediatric residency programs meet ACGME requirements and to identify characteristics of successful programs.

Method The authors conducted an online cross-sectional survey of all pediatric residency program directors in October 2012, assessing program characteristics, resident participation in scholarly activity, program infrastructure, barriers, and outcomes. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify characteristics of programs in the top quartile for resident scholarly activity participation.

Results The response rate was 52.8% (105/199 programs). Seventy-seven (78.6%) programs required scholarly activity, although definitions were variable. When including only original research, systematic reviews or meta-analyses, and case reports or series with references, resident participation averaged 56% (range 0%–100%). Characteristics associated with high-participation programs included a scholarly activity requirement (odds ratio [OR] = 5.5, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.03–30.0); program director belief that all residents should present work regionally or nationally (OR = 4.7, 95% CI = 1.5–15.1); and mentorship by >25% of faculty (OR = 3.6, CI = 1.2–11.4). Only 47.1% (41) of program directors were satisfied with resident participation, and only 30.7% (27) were satisfied with the quality of research training provided.

Conclusions The findings suggest that resident scholarly activity experience is highly variable and suboptimal. Identifying characteristics of successful programs can improve the resident research training experience.

Supplemental Digital Content is available in the text.

Dr. Abramson is assistant professor, Departments of Pediatrics and Healthcare Policy and Research, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York.

Dr. Naifeh is clinical assistant professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Dr. Stevenson is associate professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, Kentucky.

Dr. Todd is assistant professor, Department of Pediatrics, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine, Amarillo, Texas.

Dr. Henry is assistant professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Ms. Chiu is a research biostatistician, Department of Public Health, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York.

Dr. Gerber is professor, Department of Public Health, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York.

Dr. Li is associate professor and vice chair of education, Department of Pediatrics, University of California Davis School of Medicine, Sacramento, California.

Funding/Support: This project was supported in part by funds from the Clinical Translational Science Center (CTSC), National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) grant #UL1-TR000457-06.

Other disclosures: None reported.

Ethical approval: The authors received institutional review board approval from Weill Cornell Medical College to conduct this study.

Previous presentations: Findings were presented as a poster presentation at the Association of Pediatric Program Directors and Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics national conference on April 12, 2013, Nashville, Tennessee; and as a platform presentation at the Pediatric Academic Societies’ national conference on May 4, 2013, Washington, DC.

Supplemental digital content for this article is available at

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Abramson, 525 East 68th St., Room M 610-A, New York, NY 10065; telephone: (212) 746-3929; fax: (212) 746-3140; e-mail:

© 2014 by the Association of American Medical Colleges