The Future of the Orthopaedic Clinician-Scientist

Ahn, Jaimo; Donegan, Derek J.; Lawrence, J. Todd R.; Halpern, Scott D.; Mehta, Samir
April 2010
Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, American Volume;Apr2010, Vol. 92-A Issue 4, p1041
Academic Journal
Background: The successful incorporation of research into the future careers of residents provides tremendous potential for increasing scientific orthopaedic inquiry and improving musculoskeletal care. Therefore, we sought to assess resident opinions regarding plans and incentives for future research and the opinions of academic chairs who must support them. Methods: Residents from sixteen departments were surveyed with a twenty-four-question online survey. Similar surveys were sent to chairs of all residency-sponsoring departments. Results: The response rate was 44% (183) for the residents and 60% (eighty-six) for the chairs. Forty-two percent of the residents felt certain or likely that they would perform research during their careers, and 28% were undecided. Ninety-nine percent thought that orthopaedic surgeons performing research is important to clinical orthopaedics. Ninety-three percent of the residents expressed the need for monetary incentives for research, but only 40% would help to provide it. Chairs similarly noted the importance of research subsidization (92%) and a willingness to support it (70%). Residents indicated that increased funding and protected time would provide the greatest incentives for research during residency; chairs agreed. After training, debt relief and salary support were most important for residents; chairs chose protected time and a chair who is supportive of research as most important. Primary authorship on a prior manuscript and past research experience were found to be associated with greater future research interest in univariate analyses; primary authorship maintained an independent association in multivariate analysis. Younger residents and women were more likely to be unsure of their research interest. Conclusions: Many orthopaedic residents in training have interest in integrating research into their future practice and support the research mission of orthopaedic surgeons. Our results may aid in identifying residents with high research interest (and those unsure) and help to guide the provision of incentives to actuate those interests.


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