by Andrea Cherrington, MD, MPH

There are a number of exciting new initiatives aimed at creating or augmenting research experiences for Internal Medicine residents at UAB. In general, residents have three options for pursing research during residency. These include a one-month research elective, the TIME-R research block elective, and the Medicine Scholar's program (the ABIM Research Pathway).

Any resident may choose to sign up for a one-month research elective during their second and third years for a total of 2 months over the three-year residency. Over the last 12 months, 38 residents completed one-month research electives. Resident production during these months included publication of 2 peer-reviewed manuscripts, 3 review articles, 3 case reports, 3 book chapters, 6 posters at national meetings, 5 posters at regional meetings, and 11 posters at local meetings. Additionally, numerous peer-reviewed manuscripts were submitted and are currently under review.

cherrington 02Andrea Cherrington, MD, MPHTo help promote productivity during the research month, we have several initiatives in place to expose residents to life as clinician-investigators. Dr. George Nelson (CMR for Research 2014-15) recently designed a monthly interactive seminar that is given during PGY1 year. This initiative began in January 2015 and provides residents with a roadmap and designates milestones including identification of a mentor and research project, initiation of the IRB process, etc.

In conjunction with the UAB Cardio-Renal Research Group, and others from the UAB Center for Clinical and Translational Science, we are also creating a new Introduction to Translational Research 3-day workshop scheduled to begin in July 2015 with the arrival of the incoming intern class. The workshop will include faculty led discussions of research ethics, experimental design, and philosophy of "Bench-to-Bedside" medicine. Trainees will then participate in hands-on basic science experiences with an emphasis on translational approaches, followed by exercises in data and statistical analysis. At the conclusion of the modules, trainees should have a deeper fundamental knowledge of basic and translational science techniques as they apply to clinical care, as well as develop networks for future translational research opportunities.

For residents seeking a more intense research experience, there is the TIME-R block option. TIME-R provides residents a 3-month block and is awarded through a competitive application process that requires a description of the proposed research project. Last year, the program received 12 applications and 3 residents were awarded TIME-R. For the upcoming 2015-2016 year, we are anticipating exciting research to be accomplished by our awardees.

The UAB Internal Medicine residency program also offers a short-track research pathway option, the Medicine Scholar's Program. In this pathway, individuals who are interested in pursing an academic career as physician-scientists complete 2 years of internal medicine training, 1-2 years of clinical training in the subspecialty of their choosing, followed by three years of research training at a minimum of 80% protected time per year. UAB matches 1-2 individuals into this track per year; we currently have 9 scholars in the Medicine Scholar's program with representation in Pulmonary, ID, Nephrology, Cardiology and Hematology/Oncology. Over the next several years we hope to expand this pathway to include 2-3 individuals per year.