The purpose of the longitudinal scholarly activity curriculum is to advance residents’ knowledge of the basic principles of research, including how research is conducted, evaluated, explained to patients, and applied to patient care. The overarching goal of our scholarly activity curriculum is to make each resident an expert in a relevant obstetrics or gynecology topic of choice through literature review, research, and application of improvement processes over the course of 4 years of residency. This topic will inform required scholarly work presentations in journal club in years 1, 2, and 3, literature reviews in year 1, presentation of a scholarly product in year 3, and manuscript submission of scholarly product for publication and a capstone grand rounds presentation in the chief year.

Examples of scholarly products may include, but are not limited to:

  • Development of shared decision-making tools
  • Meta-analyses
  • Qualitative research
  • Quality improvement project with measurable process improvement outcomes
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Retrospective chart review
  • Secondary database analyses
  • Systematic reviews
  • Translational research

Isolated case reports do not constitute sufficient effort to qualify as scholarly activity.

Resident's research project timeline

Year 1

  • Complete human subjects research training (intern orientation).
  • White Belt training (intern orientation).
  • Literature review: During the first NF-1 rotation, identify a patient care related question relevant to general OB/GYN patients (ideally a question which has come up in clinical practice while taking care of a patient at night). Residents are expected to meet with Pamela Bagley in the biomedical library to further define the clinical question using the PICO format (population, intervention, comparison or control, and outcomes) and to get help with a literature search.
  • Literature review presentation: During the rotation following that month of night float, the intern will present a summary of the evidence at resident didactics. The resident is expected to prepare a 30-minute presentation of the topic on an assigned Thursday morning. (Fall)
  • Scholarly Project: (Winter) Identify an area of clinical interest and begin literature review to define the scope of the problem and the gap in current knowledge. This can be the area of interest identified above or a new area of interest
  • Identify a primary mentor for your scholarly activity: (Winter) This person should have an overlapping area of clinical interest and expertise.
    • With your primary mentor, begin to explore the gap in current knowledge. Develop a study plan—How can I best answer my question? Determine the type of scholarly product that you would like to pursue.
  • Yellowbelt training: (Winter) This program provides residents with a broad understanding of process improvement concepts, tools, and terminology. Residents learn the DMAIC framework (define, measure, analyze, improve, and control) and understand opportunities for process improvement in their own work. Residents will also gain foundational knowledge of analytical tools, enabling them to understand the essentials of data collection and analysis. After residents successfully complete the course and pass the exam, they will be ready both to play a role as a valuable member of a process improvement team and to undertake independent improvement projects related to their own work. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:
    • Understand the origins of the science of process improvement;
    • Understand the benefits of a structured problem-solving approach;
    • Communicate using process improvement terminology;
    • Understand and apply the 5 step DMAIC model as a framework to organize process improvement activity;
    • Apply new skills in collecting and analyzing data;
    • Employ a wide range of process improvement techniques within the DMAIC model;
    • Participate as an active team member on a process improvement team;
    • Employ process improvement thinking in their work area to identify and act upon opportunities for reducing waste and minimizing variation.
  • Personal improvement plan: After completing the Yellowbelt training in February, begin to think about applying improvement principles to your own life by developing a personal improvement plan. Attempting to change a small system is an excellent introduction to the challenges of leading change and improving care. Internship is a time of intense learning and activity, and there are many opportunities to explore and develop new habits of life and work which will help with the challenges of residency. Each intern is responsible for defining an aim for personal improvement and developing measures relevant to that aim. Relevant processes will be flowcharted and a fishbone diagram should be used to understand the “current system.” Over the course of the next several months you will begin data collection and small tests of change.
  • Submit a resident scholarly activity project proposal. (Spring)
  • Present sentinel paper on topic of interest in Journal Club. (Spring)
  • Present research hypothesis and literature review at a Thursday Research Development Meeting. (End of year)
  • Complete personal improvement project. Schedule meetings with Dr. Foster to check in during the tests of change. A final report will be prepared using the template provided. (June)

Year 2

  • If appropriate for selected scholarly project, write CPHS (IRB) proposal or IACUC proposal for submission by the September meeting. Ideally, if IRB is required, this would be submitted earlier than September.
  • Secondary mentorship will be assigned to 1 of the core research faculty members based on areas of expertise.
    • If conducting meta-analysis, systematic review, cost-effectiveness analysis, or quality improvement, formalize methodology. Residents should be familiar with and use accepted publication guidelines (CONSORT, SQUIRE, STROBE PRISMA, STARD, MOOSE, etc.) as they design their project.
  • Begin data collection.
  • Present ongoing status at Thursday Research Development Meetings by the middle of year 2. Expect to present at least twice during the year.
  • Present Research in Progress to the department at a Friday meeting.
  • Present a Journal Club article that is important to your scholarly project, either in the same area of study or illustrative of the type of investigation you are doing.

Year 3

  • Present ongoing status at Thursday Research Development Meetings. Expect to present at least twice during the year.
  • Continue data collection, if needed.
  • Complete data entry and conduct data analysis.
  • Journal Club presentation in late summer or early fall of a topic related to your scholarly project.
  • Submit abstract 1 month before Research Day for review by visiting professor and for inclusion in the published program.
  • Present results at Research Day at the end of Year 3. Scholarly product should be of sufficient quality and merit to warrant submission of abstract to a national meeting.

Year 4

  • Submit abstract to regional or national meeting after discussion with your primary mentor.
  • Write and submit formalized manuscript for peer-reviewed publication. This should be submitted to your primary and secondary mentors by 12/31.
  • Grand Rounds presentation on your content area of expertise. This presentation should be an expanded version of your third year research presentation including more background and synthesis of your understanding of the current state of knowledge of this specific area over your 4 years of inquiry.
  • Lead OB, improvement project in progress while on the OB-4 rotation. This can also be a gynecologic or educational improvement process.
    • Develop and focus an aim for an improvement project;
    • Understand the model for improvement and the components of the PDSA cycle;
    • Describe why and how various disciplines, each having different bodies of knowledge, must work together to achieve practice-based improvement;
    • Demonstrate how data can be collected under time and resource limitations and display and analyze data using run charts and control charts;
    • Use flowcharts, Pareto diagrams, or fishbone diagrams to understand the process under study;
    • Identify areas to change within a process and recognize whether changes are successful.
  • Present summary and work product of the project on the last day of each OB rotation.
  • Present improvement projects to Perinatal Collaborative Practice Committee for formal implementation by end of year 4.