Both Mather and Stony Brook strongly support resident research and scholarly activity. During their training, residents are required to complete both a scholarly project (laboratory research, clinical research, the analysis of disease processes, imaging techniques, or practice management issues) as well as a QI project, both under faculty supervision.
Residents are provided with 12 weeks free of clinical duty (protected time) spread out over the four years of training for research. Dr. Dunkin will set guidelines and due dates throughout this time to ensure projects are advancing at an appropriate rate. Residents will have full access to support from both Mather and Stony Brook – including access to medical physicists, radiologic equipment, and consultation of biostatistics in the department of preventive medicine.
Our faculty also have protected time to participate in and oversee research. Therefore, residents will be paired with a mentor that matches their interests. Both residents and faculty have access to Mather’s active Institutional Review Board.
The results of all scholarly projects are required to be either published or presented before graduation. All residents will present their findings to their peers at the Program’s Resident Research Fair during their senior year. Residents will also partake in local and national “research days” where projects will be evaluated by physicians of various fields.
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
In addition, a variety of courses in Research Methodology are available to the residents through Stony Brook Medicine’s Resident Research Lecture Series. These include a series of seminars given weekly on topics such as data cleaning and descriptive analysis, strategies for successful critical appraisal of research literature, and evaluating value through cost effectiveness analysis. In addition, the clinical epidemiology group in Stony Brook Medicine’s Division of General Internal Medicine offers an intensive summer course in Research Methodology that is open to Mather-based residents.
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.
With respect to QI projects, in addition to support from radiology faculty and QI staff, mentorship, resources, and training are available to Residents through the office of Mather’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Faro. Dr. Faro is very active in quality improvement and already mentors other physicians both inside and outside Mather on QI projects. She was on the New York State Steering Committee for the Partnership for Patients. She was faculty for the Greater New York Hospital Association’s (GNYHA) Clinical Quality Fellowship Program (CQFP). The CQFP was a 15 month program offered by GNYHA in partnership with the United Hospital Fund to train the next generation of clinical quality leaders in the New York metropolitan region. The CQFP taught physicians and nurses the skills needed to lead quality improvement and patient safety initiatives at their hospitals. Each fellow learned in-depth quality improvement and management techniques in a structured curriculum and were required to complete a “Capstone” quality improvement project guided by a faculty mentor. Dr. Faro mentored two fellows per year for this program and guided them in QI projects.