A strong foundation in research and the scientific method is a cornerstone of academic neurology. Every UF Neurology resident is encouraged to engage in research as part of their educational experience, and residents may spend up to several months of elective time working on research. Our faculty are always excited to assist residents with any scholarly activity! In addition, a dedicated research track is available for those who plan a career significantly focused on basic or clinical research.
Longitudinal Research Project. Each resident is expected to complete and present at least one research project before graduation. Research is supervised by a faculty member chosen by the resident. An annual Research Blitz is presented in the fall, during which all departmental faculty members present their ongoing research projects. Residents are also encouraged to design their own projects. Dr. Leo Almeida, Associate Program Director of Research, works with the residents to select mentors, design projects, submit IRBs, and analyze data. PGY4 residents present their completed projects during Grand Rounds in May or June prior to graduation.
Examples of longitudinal research projects include the following:
- Clinical research
- Basic and translational science
- Outcomes and health care utilization research
- Medical education research
- Clinical case presentation with review of the literature
The timeframe for the longitudinal research experience is as follows:
- Identify a faculty mentor and meet to discuss possible projects
- Inform the program director of your project and mentor
- Design research question and methodology
- Discuss the specifics of your research hypothesis and methodology with your faculty mentor and Dr. Almeida before beginning the project
- Submit IRB
- Begin collecting data
- Collect and analyze data
- Submit abstract to national meeting
- Present completed project to the department during Research Day or Grand Rounds in June
Neurology Research Day. A departmental Neurology Research Day is held annually each spring to highlight the research accomplishments of the departmental faculty, fellows, and residents. All PGY2 – PGY4 residents are expected to present either an oral platform or poster. Residents may choose to share an aspect of their longitudinal research project, a case report, or the equivalent. Prizes are awarded for the best clinical and basic science posters.
Conference presentations. The department strongly encourages additional resident research presentations at national and regional conferences. Many residents submit abstracts to the American Academy of Neurology, the American Neurological Association, the Florida Society for Neuroscience, or neurology subspecialty meetings. All residents receive a yearly educational stipend that can be used for conference travel, and additional departmental funding is provided to those with accepted first-author presentations.
There are also opportunities for local presentations. For example, the vascular neurology division holds an annual CME conference for area physicians, at which many residents choose to present a stroke-themed poster. Senior residents present a 1-hour lecture annually during the Neurology Department Grand Rounds under the guidance of Dr. Christopher Robinson.
Other scholarly activity. Throughout the residency, residents are strongly encouraged to write up interesting patients as case reports or case series. This experience is valuable, as it allows residents to carefully review a subject, learn how to evaluate the clinical literature, and enhance their writing skills under faculty guidance.
Quality improvement. All residents engage in an overall culture of patient safety through the departmental peer review process, resident M&M conferences, and submission of hospital patient-safety reports. Residents perform an annual Quality Improvement project in which they are divided into teams of junior and senior residents to address a quality improvement opportunity of particular interest to them, under the guidance of Dr. Katharina Busl (Neurology Physician Director of Quality [PDQ]) and Dr. Jacqueline Baron-Lee (Neuromedicine Interdisciplinary Clinical and Academic Program [NICAP] Director of Quality). It is expected that each team undergo at least one “Plan-Do-Study-Act” (PDSA) cycle per year. Quality improvement projects may be presented to the departmental faculty in the spring, as well as during the UF Patient Safety and Quality Week held annually each March. In addition, residents are strongly encouraged to become involved in departmental, NICAP, and UF quality improvement committees.