ENHANCING THE RESIDENT RESEARCH TRAINING CLIMATE IN ANESTHESIOLOGY THROUGH ACTION RESEARCH
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The purpose of this action research study was to understand the research training climate in anesthesiology at the University of Saskatchewan, and to collaboratively determine strategies for addressing persistent challenges to resident research training. Whilst there have been a number of published research training programs, influence over priorities has been top-down. Medical educators have lacked a model for collaboratively enhancing the research climate for trainees in anesthesiology. A three-phase, sequential mixed methods design was employed. In phase one, residents completed the revised Research Training Environment Scale as a quantitative measure of the research climate. In phase two, ten residents and six faculty mentors participated in semi-structured interviews to explore the underlying reasons for lower-scored items, and to generate suggestions for improvements to guide three simultaneous action research cycles. An advisory group collaboratively decided upon three actions for improvement of the research training climate. Phase three followed the initiation of three simultaneous action research cycles to reflexively evaluate the impact of these actions. The use of action research to identify shortcomings, generate solutions, and collaboratively choose actions for improving the research training program inspired changes to the research climate including: 1) the addition of research presentations by senior residents and faculty mentors at the research orientation for first-year residents to enhance communication of ongoing and new research ideas, and provide earlier exposure to faculty, 2) the creation of an online repository of research resources for enhanced communication of research ideas and to offer examples of past study-related documents, and 3) the encouragement of resident collaboration by offering a range of options such as involvement in individual projects, new team projects, and ongoing projects. Furthermore, during the course of this research, residents and faculty engaged in reflection-on-action and highlighted several additional suggestions for future action research cycles. This research offers two main contributions to theory. First, this study produced a model whereby action research could be used by others in pre-existing resident research training programs. Second, this study further conceptualized research culture in one postgraduate medical education, specifically by elucidating some of the underlying assumptions that formed the essence of the culture.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
CommitteeD'Eon, Marcel; Berry, Lois; Newton, Paul; Burgess, David; Wimmer, Randy
Copyright DateMarch 2015
Education, Medical, Graduate