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219126_NCS_Currents_March_2_eMag

FELLOW’S CORNER Research Experience during Neurocritical Care Fellowship: What can we Improve? By Saef Izzy, MD Conducting research during neurocritical care fellowship training is a daunting task for many reasons, including the clinical focus of our training, the limited research time which probably varies among institutions, and the readiness of fellowship programs to provide appropriate research tools and mentorship. Fellows’ research areas of interest and level of experience towards answering a valid, applicable, and exciting research question can be diverse. To have an idea about our fellows’ research experience during clinical training, we surveyed neurocritical care fellows nationwide with a brief ten-question survey, using Survey Monkey, which was distributed to the fellows by their program directors. A total of 35 fellows participated in the survey. Interestingly, only two participants were not interested in conducting research during fellowship, as they believed that neurocritical care fellowship In 2014, the NCS launched a new research training fellowship should primarily focus on clinical training. The good news is that initiative which endeavors to provide our fellows with one year of 94% of fellows were interested in research and 89% of them secured research time to generate preliminary data essential to already had ongoing research projects divided between apply for additional career development training grants. We retrospective studies (66%), case reports and case series (33%), aimed in our survey to gauge the fellows’ interest in this prospective studies (39%), and literature reviews (39%). We opportunity and we found out that only 9% (3 out of 35 found that traumatic brain injury is the one of the most popular participants) were highly interested in applying for the 2016 NCS research topics among fellows (48%), followed by ischemic stroke research grant, compared to 54% who were not interested in (39%), and status epilepticus (36%) (fi g 1). applying (fi g 3). Reviewing the survey results, many fellows are working in parallel on multiple studies and are interested in more than one area of research. Overall, 79% of respondents were interested in clinical research, 17% in translational research, and only 3% in basic In summary, our survey points out a few areas of potential science research. improvement which include the following: 1) reaching out Regarding the readiness of fellowship programs to provide to fellows before they start their fellowships to fi nd out about appropriate research skills, only 30% of fellows were offered their research areas of interest and potentially assign them institutional review board (IRB) and grant application training by to appropriate mentors; 2) providing updates for incoming their programs. fellows about programs’ ongoing research projects, available databases, and potential future research ideas; 3) offering research Surprisingly, 45% of the participants reported that they did methodology courses and IRB training in the early months of not have enough time to start a research project during their fellowship to improve fellows’ research skills and speed up their training. This critical feedback stresses the need for restructuring projects; and 4) most importantly, built-in protected research time our fellowship curriculum and building in more protected should be included during fellowship. research time. We would like to acknowledge all the fellows who participated in Mentorship is always the key to success of any research project. In this survey. We hope the results of this survey will benefi t the NCS our survey, 69% of participants reported good research and fellowship programs to better design fellowship curricula and mentorship in their programs and only 6% reported unavailable possibly open new doors for trainees to be more active in research mentorship (fi g 2). during their clinical training. 13


219126_NCS_Currents_March_2_eMag
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