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LO60: Health research methodology education in Canadian emergency medicine residency programs: a national survey of curriculum assessment

  • A. Wang (a1), K. Van Aarsen (a1), A. Meiwald (a1) and J. Yan (a1)

Abstract

Introduction: With a shift towards competency-based medical education, it is crucial to not only emphasize learner abilities such as clinical skills but also leadership in the conduct of research. Though the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada's (RCPSC) training objectives for Emergency Medicine (EM) residents state that the specialist physician be able to describe the principles of research, the research methodology curriculum across EM training programs in Canada is likely variable. The primary goal of this study was to describe the variability of research methodology teaching among RCPSC-EM residency programs. Methods: An electronic survey was distributed to English-speaking RCPSC-EM program directors (PDs) and EM residents. The survey investigated residents' and PDs’ thoughts on the adequacy of their local curriculum and asked them to quantify their research methodology teaching. The primary outcome was the frequency and content of current research methodology and research ethics teaching as well as a description of scholarly project requirements of EM residency programs across Canada. The data was presented with simple descriptive statistics. Results: 79 EM residents and 7 PDs responded (response rate 22.3% and 58.3%, respectively). All 7 PDs indicate having a research methodology curriculum while 71.6% of residents are aware of this curriculum. Only 57.1% of PDs report having formal assessments. Most programs (71.4%) teach via small groups while 28.6% of programs use large group sessions. Residents identify teaching as led by research staff (68.9%), staff physicians (60%), and EM researchers (57.8%), while only 17.8% use outside educators. Students noted various modalities of curriculum feedback such as online surveys, weekly forms, and verbal feedback. Regarding the strength of the curricula, 85.7% of PDs believed their curriculum prepares residents for board exams, while only 62.2% of residents felt similarly. When asked about using a standard web-based curriculum module if available, 60.5% of residents responded in favour. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that EM residency programs across Canada vary with respect to research methodology curriculum and discrepancies exist between residents’ and program directors’ perceptions of the curriculum. Given the lack of a standardized research methodology curriculum for these residency programs, there is an opportunity for curriculum development to improve training in research methodology.

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