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A Strategic Plan for Increasing Scholarly Activity Among Medical Students, Residents, and Faculty

Jesse Wolfe Department of Foot and Ankle Surgery, SSM Health DePaul Hospital, St. Louis, MO.

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Jenna Wolfe Department of Internal Medicine, Mercy Hospital, St. Louis, MO.

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Kevin Smith College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery, Des Moines University, Des Moines, IA.

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Robert Yoho College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery, Des Moines University, Des Moines, IA.

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Vassilios Vardaxis College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery, Des Moines University, Des Moines, IA.
College of Health Sciences, Des Moines University, Des Moines, IA.

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Background:

Scholarly activity among students, residents, and faculty provides the foundation for medical education. However, a decline in the number of physician-scientists has been acknowledged during the past few decades. As a result, institutions have attempted to increase research activity among students and residents through a variety of means. This study describes a replicative model for medical institutions to increase their research enterprises among medical students, residents, and faculty.

Methods:

Des Moines University College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery (DMU-CPMS) developed a Strategic Research Plan (SRP) to increase scholarly activity in the college. The SRP outlined an innovative model to increase research activity, including creating a Director of Research position, modifying the existing curriculum toward an evidence-based focus, increasing extracurricular research opportunities, and fostering collaborative research efforts among students, residents, and faculty.

Results:

After SRP implementation, an increase in scholarly activity was observed. In the 6 years before implementing the SRP, DMU-CPMS published 11 manuscripts. In the 6 years after initiating the SRP, manuscript publications increased to 50. During this same period, podium presentations at scientific meetings increased from 6 to 40, and students listed as lead author increased from 0 to 16.

Conclusions:

The SRP provides a replicative model for medical institutions seeking to increase their research enterprises through collaboration among students, residents, and faculty. To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate a research plan aimed at increasing scholarly activity among a comprehensive scope of individuals in medical education.

Corresponding author: Kevin Smith, DPM, PhD, College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery, Des Moines University, 3200 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50312. (E-mail: kevin.smith@dmu.edu)