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.
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.
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.
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.