Promoting scholarship during child and adolescent psychiatry residency

Mezzacappa E, Hamoda HM, DeMaso DR

Acad Psychiatry 2012 Nov;36(6):443-7

PMID: 23154688


BACKGROUND: In 2003, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) drew attention to the critical national shortage of psychiatrist-researchers and the need for competency-based curricula to promote research training during psychiatry residency as one way to address this shortage at the institutional level. Here, the authors report on the adaptation, implementation, and results attained with a broadly applicable, developmental, competency-based framework for promoting scholarship during child and adolescent psychiatry residency.

METHODS: The authors instituted structural program changes, protecting time for all residents to engage in scholarly pursuits and a mentorship program to support residents in their scholarly interests. The authors assessed five graduating classes before and five classes after these changes were implemented, examining whether these changes sustained scholarship for residents with previous experience during general psychiatry residency and whether they promoted emergence of new scholarship among residents without such experience.

RESULTS: The authors observed a tenfold increase in the number of residents engaged in rigorously-defined scholarly pursuits after the program changes, which helped sustain the scholarship of more residents with previous experience and promoted the emergence of more new scholarship among residents without previous experience.

CONCLUSION: The authors conclude that it is possible to sustain and promote scholarship during child psychiatry residency despite the relatively short duration of the program and the many requirements for graduation and certification. The changes implemented were universal in scope and required no special funding mechanisms, making this approach potentially exportable to other training programs.