Resident scholarly project requirement


Emergency Medicine Residency

The general consensus regarding the ‘‘Scholarly Project’’ Requirement for Emergency Medicine Residents, based on the Report of the SAEM Research Directors’ Workshop is that the primary role of the scholarly project is to:  1) instruct residents in the process of scientific inquiry, 2) teach problem-solving skills, and to 3) expose the resident to the mechanics of research.

It is an expectation in our Emergency Medicine Residency Program that residents will complete at least one hypothesis-driven research project suitable for peer review during their residency. Ideally, the project will culminate in a manuscript that will be submitted for publication. It is also the expectation that the resident will present the findings of this research at the annual resident research day and at either a local, regional, or national forum.

This project can be either a retrospective or a prospective analysis. The project must be approved by the residency research director, Dr. Latha Ganti.  In this project, the resident will:

  • Define a research hypothesis
  • Develop and implement a research plan
  • Collect and analyze data
  • Interpret findings
  • Conduct a literature review related to the topic of study
  • Prepare a manuscript suitable for publication
  • Presentation of the work for the Departmental Research Day

Emergency Medicine residents will collaborate with a faculty member who is actively and simultaneously engaged in the conduct of the research project. It is anticipated that resident and faculty research project mentors will meet often enough to ensure successful completion of the scholarly project. Faculty may recruit residents to assist in their research endeavors or residents may recruit faculty to assist in the conduct of their proposed research. All faculty are encouraged to become involved in this process.

Every resident’s progress with this research initiative will be gauged during semi-annual resident review. Their individual project will be discussed and their progress will be documented in the Semi-Annual Resident Review report as part of the ACGME Core Competencies.

In an effort to assist and prepare residents for this scholarly endeavor, a formal didactic research curriculum is taught in the first half of every year, and repeats once during the 3 year residency program.

Timeline for Resident Research Project:

By March of PGY-1

  • Early in the residency, determine an area of interest for your project.
  • Complete HIPAA and CITI training.
  • Meet with the Residency Research Director (Dr. Ganti)
    • To clarify an idea you already have or discuss possible topics if you are uncertain about your interests.
    • To identify a staff who has an interest or expertise in your chosen area and discuss your ideas with her.
  • Make sure your project is simple and doable.
  • Make sure one of the ED staff is a part of the undertaking (although your primary faculty advisor may be from another department, it is important to have one of the ED attendings in the research loop).

By May of PGY-1

  • Do a literature search on your topic to get an idea if your topic has been studied extensively or not, and what has and has not been done. Remember, just because your idea has been done before does not necessarily mean you cannot do the project. It will always be a little different due to the setting, timing, population, specific questions asked, etc
  • Decide on your study design
  • Begin writing your research proposal  (see IRB website for template)

By July of PGY-2

  • Present your proposal to resdiency committee (you have to request to present, and will be given a date)
  • Think about the variables that you want to collect (age, gender, admission date, length of hospital stay, etc.)
  • Make sure the variables are coded in a way amenable for analysis (eg- symptoms)
  • Ask for help before you start entering data of patients into your database, so you will save some time.

By August of  PGY-2

  • Submit your protocol to the IRB. Allow 4-6 weeks time to hear from them (if your study includes an intervention, the IRB will take more time).

By January of PGY-2

  • Complete your data collection

By July of PGY-2

  • Complete statistical analysis and preliminary manuscript draft

Remember, the sooner you complete your work, the more you can enjoy the fruits of your labor by travelling and presenting at regional/national/international meetings.

Here is a list of upcoming meetings and deadlines:

Abstract submission deadline Meeting



April ACEP, October

A few tips and comments:

  • You may collaborate on your project with another EM resident as long as the workload, authorship and other details (define these early in the course of the project)
  • Observational and retrospective cohort studies are easier to perform.
  • You can write more than one abstract/paper using the same dataset.
  • Keep in mind the deadlines of any meeting that you would like to attend. Deadlines are usually 6 months prior to the meeting.