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Resident Research

Philosophy Heading link

In addition to excellent clinical training, the Department of Otolaryngology at UIC believes a basic understanding of research methodology is critical in becoming a successful surgeon. Whether one has a desire to enter academic medicine or join a private practice, a good clinician needs to stay up to date of current literature. To have knowledge of basic study design, clinical epidemiology and statistics allows a clinician the ability to critically analyze literature, know whether to adopt a new treatment, change a practice pattern or ignore a trendy study.

Just like teaching you to perform a surgical procedure, our job is to teach you both basic research skills and develop the ability to critically assess literature. Residents are required to participate in research activities throughout the five years of their residency program. The research block entails 3 months that fall within the PGY 3 year.

Objective Heading link

The residents will be involved in a structured and guided process encouraging them to develop autonomy and independence in executing research in a proper and meaningful way.

The processes and expectations are as follows:

  • All residents attend the required quarterly research lectures by the Director of Research. These lectures provide a basic overview of research skills including study design, statistics, writing and data management, etc
  • All residents attend quarterly journal club. The goal of the journal club is to apply knowledge obtained from structured research lectures to the evaluation of selected peer reviewed articles.
    Faculty or residents may submit articles for review. The Director of Research may select one or two articles in conjunction with faculty.
  • All residents are required to read and review the articles on their own using a structured guide.
  • The PGY-3 on research block will be required to lead the journal club discussion.
  • The Director of Research and faculty responsible for the article selection will meet with the PGY-3 to critically review the article(s) using a structured format prior to presentation

Yearly Plan Heading link

  • Interns
    • The goal of this first year is to begin to develop a project that will be the basis for writing an American Academy of Otolaryngology CORE grant.
    • Interns will meet with the Director of Research in January of intern year and begin to learn the structure of a grant; over the next 6 months, interns will write components of their own grant
  • PGY-2
    • The first half of the PGY-2 year is used to focus on the finalizing and completing their CORE grant; grants are due in January.
    • The remainder of the PGY-2 year focuses on finding additional projects to become involved.
    • The resident who will begin the first PGY-3 research block will meet with the Director of Research within 3 months of their block to mature and finalize their research plan
  • PGY-3
    • Each resident will complete a 3-month block dedicated to research.
    • The residents will each meet with the Director of Research to create a research plan prior to beginning their block.
    • This plan will cover clinical and research interests, current research skills, desired skills to acquire as well as a list of research projects, projects status and end products (e.g. manuscript(s)).During the research block, the resident will meet regularly with Director of Research as well as their Faculty sponsor to track progress of projects as well as to create small goals to be accomplished between meeting times.
    • This ensures the residents are supported during their research time and make effective progress towards completing projects in a timely manner.
    • The PGY-3s who have completed their block prior to March will be required to submit their work to the Lederer Pierce regional scientific symposium
  • PGY-4 and 5
    • During the remaining two years, the residents will meet at minimum twice a year with Director of Research to ensure satisfactory completion of remaining projects as well as make sure residents are meeting the above requirements

Quality Improvement Heading link

Not only is patient safety and quality improvement (PSQI) required for an ACGME accredited otolaryngology program, many health systems and employers are requiring employees to participate in initiatives.
At UIC, we have taken this mission of PSQI to heart. We want our graduating residents to not just have participated in projects but to have the formal tools develop their own projects and ultimately become leaders.

We have implemented the following structure to achieve this goal:

  • A formal didactic lecture series within the Department of Otolaryngology. Monthly lectures in addition to M&M given by invited experts of UIC and UI Health.
  • Participation in a 3 days dedicated QI program resulting in a certificate of completion
  • Design and execution of QI projects that apply skills and knowledge to identified problems and issues of patient safety. Residents may develop their own projects, work as a PGY class to design a program, or become involved in programs within UI Health

Goals Heading link

  • All residents will be involved in QI projects
    • PGY1 and 2 residents will be actively involved in current projects, working to develop their own project
    • PGY3 residents will implement their own project based on an inpatient or clinical event witnessed or an improvement project with respect to clinical education or process
    • PGY3 residents will identify a mentor to facilitate the project and provide additional oversight
    • PGY4 and 5 residents will complete project or prepare for transition to junior residents
    • All residents will present their on-going projects at the end of the year with invited stakeholders
    • Residents will consider avenues for publication
  • 75% attendance rate for QI lecture curriculum
  • PGY3 research residents will attend a three day QI course organized by UIC faculty, designed to reinforce the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to successfully implement change initiatives and improvement projects

Expectations Heading link

By graduation, our job is to help you achieve the following minimum standards!

  • Posters – Two posters to be presented at either a regional, national or international conference
  • Manuscripts – Two manuscripts, ideally a product of poster presentation, written and submitted to a peer-reviewed journal with the goal of publication. One manuscript will be a shorter piece such as a case report, commentary, or retrospective chart review. The second manuscript to come from a project developed by the resident with faculty assistance and guidance based in sound research methods
  • Oral presentation – One oral presentation performed at a regional, national, or international conference

Objectives for the resident research experience include:

  • Develop an understanding of rigorous research methods – i.e. proper study design, data collection, data management/integrity, and basic statistical analysis
  • Design a project based on a hypothesis that incorporates the above research methods
  • Implement and carry out a project in which the resident become the principal investigator running and managing the study while at the same time managing co-residents, medical students
  • Improve oral and written communication of research results
  • Develop the skills and become practiced at critically assessing published literature