Research and scholarly activities are essential components of a fellow's training experience. Fellows are expected to gain first-hand familiarity with research project conception, review of the literature, IRB procedure and responsible use of informed consent, and data collection and analysis. They also develop competence in critical appraisal of new therapies in the medical literature.
All fellows should participate in scholarly activities such as comprehensive case reports and review of literature, and/or research projects including single and multicenter clinical trials. Fellows are expected to complete at least one project for submission to a regional or national meeting and/or publication. Fellows are also encouraged to submit their projects to the Lahey Clinic Postgraduate Recognition Day contest. Deadline for receipt of materials is generally in early May. If selected, presentation is in June.
In working closely under the preceptorship of a faculty member, the fellow participates in data collection, interpretation, and the writing of the abstract/publication. By doing so, the fellow learns the design, limitations and interpretation of studies and is better able to provide a critical appraisal of new studies as they appear in the medical literature.
There are a number of clinical research protocols ongoing at Lahey Clinic at any given time. Fellows are encouraged to become actively engaged in some of these protocols, including multicenter clinical trials for which Lahey is a participating site. This provides an opportunity for fellows to gain familiarity with the state of the art in a given field; to understand the clinical question at hand, which the trial is attempting to answer; and to become versed in current literature leading to this question. They become thoroughly familiar with the inclusion/exclusion criteria and overall design of the trial, and learn the responsible use of informed consent.
First-year fellows are allotted two weeks during the latter part of the first year for research; second-year fellows are allotted one month. Third-year fellows are assigned a minimum of two full months of research / elective (which may be utilized exclusively for research, or combined with an elective, depending on the individual fellows' interest and past academic productivity). If needed, the third-year fellow can arrange for up to a total of four months of dedicated research time through the program director.