This panel (chaired by Dr. Jeffrey Perry) addressed the best practices for training and developing emergency medicine career researchers by identifying the enablers and barriers. They conducted a systematic review and survey of all Canadian emergency medicine researchers. The expert research panelists also studied the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) research fellowship program. Recommendations based on this methodology were presented at the CAEP 2014 Academic Symposium and refined from attendee feedback.
A survey of physicians who were self-defined as a clinical researcher (i.e., physicians who spend a significant portion of their career conducting research) was conducted. Respondents felt that salary support, research training, mentorship, and infrastructure positively impact the success of a clinical research career. Review of the SAEM research fellowship identified specific core competencies for researchers, as well as mandatory manuscript preparation and submission of a large grant proposal for peer review as integral to a successful research training program.
The panel’s work culminated into the recommendation of a structured research training program, which would consist of two phases: formal fellowship/graduate training (2 years) and research consolidation (1 to 3 years) (Box 2).
Box 2 Summary of recommendations: how to develop and train career researchers in emergency medicine
Required elements of a CAEP Academic Section endorsed training programs
Training should consist of two phases: Phase I: Research Fellowship/Graduate Training (2 years) and Phase II: Research Consolidation (1–3 years).
Phase I should comprise both an advanced research degree (e.g., MSc Epidemiology) and practical mentorship covering the 15 domains of clinical research (see 2.3).
Phase II should focus on intense mentoring to consolidate the 15 domains of clinical research and develop expertise in research outputs (e.g., abstracts, manuscripts, and grants).
Training centres are encouraged to formalize links with other centres to cover areas of expertise that are not well established in their own centres.
Trainees in both Phase I and Phase II require protected time away from clinical, educational, and administrative duties.
A research salary/stipend is essential during both phases of this training.
Work space, including appropriate infrastructure (i.e., computer, Internet access, reference software, statistical software, administrative support), needs to be provided to both Phase I and Phase II trainees.
Process to become a CAEP Academic Section endorsed training program
Ensure that a plan exists on how to provide training in all 15 domains of clinical research.
Apply to the CAEP Academic Section to receive endorsement for research training of candidates for Phase I, Phase II, or both.
Provide updates every 5 years to the CAEP Academic Section on the number of trainees per phase and an updated plan on how training is provided in the 15 domains of clinical research.
Domains of clinical research for Phase I and Phase II training
Identification of research focus within emergency medicine
Data collection methods
Data monitoring and interim data analysis
Presentation of research
Manuscript preparation, submission, and revision
Ethical aspects of medical research
Additional requirements for Phase II training
Submit and present two or more scientific abstracts per year.
Submit at least two full manuscripts as first author per year.
Obtain at least one grant from a provincial or national peer-review organization, including preparation, submission, and revision.
Consolidate 15 domains of clinical research Phase I.