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Annual Neurology Research Day a success

Neurology residents and fellows present research projects during the department's annual Research Day.

Shweta Goswami, M.D., presents her project during the Neurology Department's annual Research Day.
Shweta Goswami, M.D., presents her project during the Neurology Department's annual Research Day.

Neurology residents and fellows at the University of Kansas Medical Center showcased their research skills May 24 during the department's annual Research Day.

During the day-long event in the Health Education Building on the KU Medical Center campus in Kansas City, 23 residents and fellows used their 15 minutes of allotted time to present research projects they developed in collaboration with faculty mentors.

Shweta Goswami, M.D., PGY-2, Monika Manchanda, M.D., PGY-3, Nathaniel Wachter, M.D., PGY-4, and Amanda Thuringer, D.O., fellow, earned top honors for their Research Day projects and were presented with certificates June 15 during the department's graduation celebration.

"Research training is very important to residents and fellows whether they are going into academic or private practice as clinical trials have become a big part of any practice. Research training also helps them inquire about the right information and helps with conducting future trials in a safe manner," said Mamatha Pasnoor, M.D., associate professor of neurology, who directs the Research Day activity. "It helps develop an attitude of not believing everything they read in articles and having a detailed analysis of the things they read."

A long-running tradition in the department spanning 20 years, Research Day gives participating trainees a chance to become familiar with the entire research process, including identifying a hypothesis, protocol writing, IRB application, project implementation, data analysis and, finally, presentation of the findings.

Residents and fellows select and work with faculty mentors in a neurological specialty of interest to them, allowing them to experience an area of expertise they may like to pursue during their career.
Trainees also submit their research projects to local, national and international meetings, and presenting at important meetings opens the door to further recognition.

Though she was participating in her first Research Day, the experience has already made a lasting impact on Goswami's training in the department.

"As a trainee, there's a balancing act I have to play with enough time to learn the responsibilities of a physician, teacher, mentor and learner," she said. "In a way, research day helped me put all those skills to the test. I found a topic that directly impacts patient care, I not only found a mentor and teacher who guided me through the topic, but I also found myself, as the presenter, teaching and mentoring others about the importance of standardization, evidence-based medicine and the need for more research into my topic, and I learned a lot about the process of submitting an IRB."

Goswami's project surveyed members of the neurocritical care community about their thoughts on the frequency of neurochecks, the efficacy of the practice and its potential contribution toward ICU delirium. As a next step, she is planning to devise a multisite clinical trial testing different frequencies of neurochecks in the ICU in an effort to identify an ideal interval.

Manchanda looked at the predictive ability of the Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score compared to CT perfusion for acute ischemic stroke, while Wachter compared gait in patients with essential tremor with age-matched healthy controls using quantitative gait assessment with wireless sensors.

Thuringer's research involved updating the characterization of patients diagnosed at KU Medical Center with chronic relapsing inflammatory optic neuropathy, to improve recognition and treatment of the condition.

"Now that I've had a taste of what research day is like, I have a whole list of projects that I'd love to start soon," Goswami said. "It'll be exciting to see what kinds of projects show up at next year's Research Day."

KU School of Medicine

University of Kansas Medical Center
Department of Neurology
Mailstop 2012
3901 Rainbow Blvd.
Kansas City, KS 66160
Phone: 913-588-6970
Fax: 913-588-6965