Clinical research is a requirement for all GI fellows. This research may take the form of retrospective chart reviews or short prospective studies. Case reports are also encouraged. It is our goal for each fellow to present his/her work at national meetings and submit manuscripts for publication in peer review journals. In order to accomplish this goal, training programs aim to provide gastroenterology fellows with the time, resources, supervision and guidance to engage in research during the three-year training program. By design, this mandate has been left flexible with the recognition that gastroenterology fellows are likely to pursue a variety of career paths upon completion of training.
- In line with the gastroenterology training program guidelines, fellows will have approximately six months or 15% of their time available for clinical research. The equivalent of one month's time will be available in the first year, two month's time in the second year and three month's time in the third year of fellowship. Because the collection of data for the kinds of studies best performed at Lahey Clinic will not be laboratory based, this time will not and should not be "block time". This 15% of the time will be accounted for as months assigned to "nutrition" where fellows will be expected to spend one-third of their time on nutrition and two-thirds of their time on research; "motility" where fellows will be expected to spend 50% of their time on motility and 50% on research; "endoscopy" where fellows will be expected to spend 60-70% of their time on endoscopy and 30-40% of their time on research, etc. The exact blocking of this time will be refined over the next several months.
- First year fellows will be expected to identify a project and mentor by approximately March for a significant chart review of "retrospective/prospective" study. This will include asking a question that is clearly answerable within the time span and resources of our institution. This will allow fellows to ask information services to identify groups of patients with diseases to assure that the clinical material can be identified adequately.
- During the second year, fellows will have the equivalent of two months to assemble data that will have been garnered over the previous year. This time can be utilized to create a computer database, perform the necessary chart reviews, contact the patients and get follow-up data, etc.
- During the third year, three months will be available to complete studies for presentation at national meetings and publication.
In addition, it is expected that all fellows will have the opportunity to assemble one or more case reports garnered during their clinical rotations and be able to work on these studies during their "protected time".
In order to establish benchmarks for this process, first year fellows will be asked to present, in noon conference, a draft of their clinical questions, proposed methods and approach to answering these questions in the March-April time frame. Second year fellows will be asked to present an update of their projects during a noon conference, also around March-April. Third year fellows will be asked to present works in progress in the fall of their third year. this program will be established incrementally beginning with the first-year fellows in this academic year.
The entire gastroenterology staff looks forward to the launching of this program. In the past such programs have enriched the entire academic and intellectual life of the Gastroenterology Department.