The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Kansas Medical Centerhas established a strong residency research program spanning all four years of residency. Research opportunities are broad and occur across the spectrum of medicine. Residents may pursue research and other scholarly activities in clinical medicine, basic science/laboratory, public health, and quality improvement.
Research is introduced as a key component to the residency program early in the intern year. Through quarterly research reviews, residents briefly share their research interests, ideas, progress, and outcomes over time in a supportive, collaborative setting among their peers and interested faculty. A dedicated faculty epidemiologist guides and supports resident research from the formative stage through data analysis and the dissemination of results, with the ultimate intent of a presentation (oral or poster) at a regional or national meeting and subsequent manuscript production. Residents are invited to shape their own research study and partner with faculty, or to pursue research under the direction of faculty members who have ongoing research interests.
After an introduction to the progressive research process at the beginning of residency, interns develop a research idea around a key knowledge gap with the goal of having a research plan in place by the beginning of the second year. After development of a clear research question, completion of a protocol describing the relevance of the research question and the study design, and attainment of successful IRB approval, research is conducted in the second and third years of residency. By the third year, data collection is completed and data analysis occurs. Using this information, an abstract is written and submitted to a relevant conference. At the end of the third year, residents present their research findings at the annual Resident Research Day. The final year of residency is spent preparing a manuscript for submission to an appropriate journal.
Experience in conducting and evaluating research directly translates into improved skills needed to be a lifelong learner, regardless of the career path chosen. The Department aims to facilitate resident research of mutual interest to both residents and faculty mentors, with the ultimate goal of contributing towards knowledge needed to improve patient care or community health.
Catherine Satterwhite, Ph.D., MSPH, MPH