Residents are required to complete a scholarly project during their training. While Mather does not participate in any clinical or bench research, this scholarly project may consist of an original paper, a quality improvement project, a scholarly case report or an educational curriculum. Residents present their findings to their peers during the program’s resident research fair during their third year (spring). Winners from the fair will present their research during a Grand Rounds presentation. Their project is then added to their portfolios so it can be assessed as part of their semi-annual review.

Residents have protected time for scholarly activity during their ambulatory blocks.The program will set guidelines and due dates throughout the three years of training to ensure the projects are advancing at an appropriate rate. Faculty also have protected time to participate in and oversee research. Residents will be paired with a mentor that matches their interests. Residents and faculty have access to Mather’s very active Institutional Review Board.

Alan Kaell, MD serves as the Program’s Director of Resident Scholarly Activity and Faculty Development. Board certified in internal medicine, rheumatology and geriatrics, Dr. Kaell has been an active investigator since 1983, focusing on rheumatology and immunology, resulting in numerous published research articles and chapters. He has lectured on his findings internationally, has had privileges at four major hospitals in Suffolk County and has been a reviewer and editor of various national journals for more than 30 years. Dr. Kaell has conducted more than 20 Phase II, III and IV clinical trials for anti-rheumatic therapies and has been the recipient of NIH and Fetzer research grants. He has taught medical students, residents and fellows for the past 30 years and is currently a participant in the Academy of Rheumatology Medical Educators, whose mission is to develop, implement and assess novel teaching techniques by incorporating Patient Reported Outcomes and evaluating patient and physician behavioral changes.

As Director of Resident Scholarly Activity, Dr. Kaell teaches all residents a series on Research Methodology, with topics that include:

  • How to choose doable projects that can be completed and published in a timely manner
  • The statistics you need to understand in clinical study design and in publication and analysis of data
  • The process: study design, IRB approval needs, funding sources, protocol revisions and how to handle them
  • Understanding placebo and nocebo effects
  • Differentiating between effectiveness and efficacy outcomes
  • Selection of outcome measures – surrogate vs. other
  • HIPAA and Informed Consent

Dr. Kaell will guide residents with topic development, planning, data gathering, analysis, and drafting. He pairs residents with appropriate research mentors, facilitates research relationships and collaboration between residents and faculty, and serves as a research mentor to some residents himself.