Objective: To determine how well medical residency programs are prepared to meet the new Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accreditation guidelines for resident scholarly activity.
Design: Cross-sectional study using a mailed survey.
Participants: Program directors of all ACGME-accredited internal medicine residency programs.
Measurements: Program directors were asked to list the scholarly activities and products of their residents and their programs' minimal expectations for resident research; available academic, faculty, technical, and personnel support for resident research; perceived barriers to resident research; and the desired educational and skill outcomes of resident research. The responses of university-based training programs were compared with those of non-university-based programs.
Results: 271 program directors returned the survey, yielding a response rate of 65%. Ninety-seven percent of all programs have established scholarly guidelines consistent with accreditation requirements. Although only 37% of programs reported having an organized, comprehensive research curriculum, 70% taught skills important to research. Technical support and resources were generally available for resident research; the most frequently cited barrier to resident research was lack of resident time. University-based and non-university-based training programs differed in important ways. Generally, non-university-based programs had more research activity and structure, and they exceeded university-based programs in the number of oral and poster presentations given at local, state, and national professional meetings.
Conclusions: Most programs have in place the basic elements conducive to resident research. Program directors have identified and teach educational outcomes and skills that are likely to have lifelong benefits for most of their graduates.