A strong foundation in research and the scientific method is a cornerstone of academic neurology. Every UF Neurology resident engages in research as part of their educational experience. Our faculty are always excited to assist residents with scholarly activity! Residents may spend up to several months of elective time working on research. In addition, a dedicated research track is available for those who plan a career significantly focused on basic or clinical research.
Several divisions in the Department of Neurology have organized group research projects that allow residents opportunities for joint scholarly activity. The gold standard is Dr. Simpkins’ CREST initiative (Career and Resident Research Engagement in Stroke Using Team Science), which brings together residents, fellows, and medical students into group stroke research projects and additionally provides small-group curriculum in the foundations of academic research and mentorship in career development.
Longitudinal Research Project. Each resident is expected to complete and present at least one research project before graduation. Senior residents present their completed projects during either the Departmental Research Day or 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
Projects are 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 to help residents identify potential projects of interest. Click here to access the 2020 Research Blitz Slides. Residents are also encouraged to design their own studies. Departmental faculty support is available for residents to design projects, submit IRBs, and analyze data.
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 hypothesis and methodology
- Submit IRB
- Begin collecting data
- Present a methodological poster (± preliminary data) during the annual Departmental Research Day to obtain constructive feedback on project design, limitations, and feasibility
- 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 Neurology Departmental 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 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.
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 also present a 1-hour lecture annually during the Neurology Department Grand Rounds on a topic of interest or a joint clinical-pathological case with the Department of Pathology.
Other scholarly activity. Throughout the residency, residents are strongly encouraged to publish interesting patients as case reports or case series. Many faculty members also engage residents in topical review articles or book chapters. These experiences are valuable, as they allow 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 of particular interest to them. It is expected that each project 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.