Research Elective

Research Elective Policy

Guidelines for Applying for Elective Research Rotation during Internal Medicine Residency Training

The residency program in internal medicine at Sinai-Grace Hospital is committed to providing training in internal medicine for its residents in accordance with the guidelines of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM).  The emphasis of the residency program is to provide the opportunity to acquire the necessary clinical skills and medical knowledge to practice primary care internal medicine. Moreover, the program recognizes the importance of basic science and clinical research as an important aspect of residency training and requires its residents to engage in research or scholarly activity during the course of the residency, and is now required by the ACGME. The program is committed to offering various opportunities for research, but it also receives many requests from residents for dedicated time off from patient care responsibilities to engage in basic science or clinical research in out-of-town institutions or external sites. Only a limited number of such requests for research electives can be accommodated during an academic year and research time will be granted purely on the basis of the merits of the proposed research project. Elective research rotation is meant to supplement clinical training and will not be granted if the minimum requirements of residency training are not met. The following guidelines and procedures will be used in vetting and determining which residents will qualify for research time during their residency training:

1. A written request for research time should be submitted to the Department of Medicine Research Committee.

2. Dedicated research elective time will generally be granted only for basic science research.  It is expected that clinical research will be done without dedicated time. Exceptions may be discussed with the program director.

However, a two-week clinical research elective will be granted for those residents who would like to pursue clinical research in the Department of Medicine at Sinai-Grace Hospital. A project proposal with clear objectives and time schedule along with completing the Wayne State University Institutional Review Board (IRB) requirements (passing the CITI training) need to be presented to the Department of Medicine Research Committee three months in advance of the starting date. Besides the IRB, the same research proposal or study protocol should be submitted simultaneously to the DMC Clinical Research Office (CRO) to receive authorization.

The below requirements are the same for clinical research as for basic science research.

3. Residents engaging in research projects must be in good academic standing with satisfactory to superior evaluations during previous rotations.  Residents who are on academic probation will not be able to qualify for research time.

4. The maximum duration of time allocated for basic science research will be up to two months.  The resident must demonstrate to the program that the major component of the proposed research, including all of the laboratory work, can be completed during this time. Only data analysis and writing up of findings may be completed after this period.

5. Basic science research requires a faculty sponsor at the other institution who is actively engaged in research in the specialty of interest. The faculty sponsor should have a research lab in which the resident will conduct his/her research.  The sponsoring faculty should provide our department with a written commitment stating that the resident will be permitted to engage in the proposed research at his/her facility.

6. It is the responsibility of the resident to meet or communicate with the faculty sponsor and develop a formal outline of the proposed research. The outline should be structured to include:

a) Background and significance

b) Review of existing literature

c) Specific objectives of proposed research

d) Study design

e) Methods

f) Data analysis

g) Anticipated time commitment of the resident and the faculty.

This information should be provided in the form available through the Department of Medicine.

7. Be advised that it will likely take three to six months of preparation to meet with faculty, design a research project and prepare the proposal in the format specified by the department.  The resident must be the person who conducts the major component of the proposed research with clearly specified goals. Time will not be allocated just to acquire basic science laboratory skills or to contribute time to a project already in progress.

8. All submitted research proposals will be forwarded to the Research Committee for review.  The committee will be blinded to the names of the residents. The following benchmarks will apply during the review process:

• Significance of the proposed research

• Completeness of the literature review

• Clearly stated research goals

• Demonstration that the resident will be conducting the major component of the research under the supervision of the faculty.

• Demonstration that most of the research project would be completed within a 4-week block and up to 2 months.

• Demonstration that the proposed methods would achieve the stated research goals

9. Resident whose research projects are approved will be granted the requested elective research time with the following stipulations:

a) A copy of the research outline will become a permanent part of the resident’s file.

b) The residents would be required to develop a presentation of the research conducted and relevant findings within two months of completing their research. This presentation will be scheduled during a noon conference and will be evaluated by the audience.

c) A summary of the evaluations would be placed in the resident’s file.

d) The resident is also expected to submit his/her research findings for presentation at the Annual Sinai-Grace Research Day.

e) The resident is required to submit a written report of the results to the Research Committee within six months of completing the research. A completed paper for publication is acceptable in place of this report.

f) The submitted report/paper will be evaluated by the Research Committee and this evaluation, together with the report, will be placed in the resident’s file.  Failure to submit the report in the allocated time will be documented as such. Additional time will only be granted if the resident is able to convincingly demonstrate to the committee that a significant component of the research is ongoing and that additional results would become available with time. Additional time will not be granted for preparation of the report.

Please contact the Director of Clinical Research in the Department of Medicine-Internal Medicine Residency Program at 313-966-4458. 


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