In an effort to help residents get a better idea of the department’s research scope and who they might want to work with, last year, Associate Director of the Residency Program Brian Gehlbach, MD, organized a “speed-dating” session during the residents’ noon conference with the aid of that year’s Chief Resident Dr. Josiah Zubairu.
Over the course of one hour, representatives from each division gave a brief overview of the kinds of projects residents may want to work on to fulfill their “scholarly activity” program requirement. Beyond just helping them fulfill their requirement, Gehlbach and the rest of the program leadership want to offer exposure to high-level research in an academic medical center. For some, this is their first opportunity. For others, it is work that will factor strongly in their next career steps. That means making sure that they engage in an activity that is meaningful to them.
For this year, Gehlbach and Chief Resident Carolyn Hilliard, MD, have expanded this introduction. In an adjustment from last year, they organized a series of presenters to come to two noon conferences, giving more room for detail and leaving more time at the end of each session for residents to talk one-on-one with the division representatives. This last adjustment addressed an issue that came up in each session of the best ways for residents to connect with potential investigators.
Another element repeated in this year’s resident preparation from last was offering the chance for residents to hear from their peers. Hilliard asked six third-year residents to sit on a panel during a noon conference earlier in the month to talk about their experience with research in Internal Medicine. Drs. Brendan Boyle, Chris DeZorzi, Tyler Rasmussen, Travis Snyders, Jenny Strouse, and James Willey offered similar tips as the division directors and principal investigators. “It just has a little more impact,” Hilliard said, “when it comes from someone who was just sitting right where they are.” She said she and Gehlbach did move the panel closer in the schedule to the division presentations so that “it would all be fresh.”
The six covered more than the kinds of research that divisions could expose residents to, but also discussed the challenges of defining goals clearly beforehand and of not taking on more than can be accomplished in the few weeks the block allows. Those goals, they said, can vary. It may be a publication-ready manuscript or an abstract submitted to a conference. They also offered specific tips on how to communicate with research mentors.
Gehlbach and Hilliard allowed for plenty of time for questions from the attendees, who took advantage of the opportunity. Hilliard also provided detailed notes with take-home points and category-specific bullets for the residents to read over later.
Thanks to the six residents and to these division representatives listed below who volunteered their time to help prepare this next class for the important third component of the academic medicine mission.
Dale Abel, MD, PhD – Endocrinology
Barry London, MD, PhD – Cardiovascular Medicine
Alejandro Pezzulo, MD – Pulmonary Medicine
Mohamad Mokadem, MD – Gastroenterology
Hilary Mosher, MD – General Internal Medicine / VA Medical Center
Christie Thomas, MBBS – Nephrology
Judy Streit, MD – Infectious Diseases
Scott Vogelgesang, MD – Allergy/Immunology and Rheumatology
Brian O’Neill – Endocrinology
Mohammed Milhem, MBBS – Oncology and Hematology