The Family Medicine Residency Program at McMaster is one of only a few program that does not have a mandatory research project. Since 1997, however, a research stream has been offered in order to provide the administrative, methodological and supervisory support for self-selected residents; by supporting interested residents, the research stream maximizes the limited resources available.
The research stream for family medicine residents provides interested residents with an opportunity to develop the skills required to carry out fundable research. It is appropriate both for residents who anticipate a possible academic career and for those who might wish to conduct research in the context of a community practice.
Interested residents should identify themselves to the Department Research in Residency Supervisor, Dr. Gina Agarwal, or the Postgraduate Program Director, Dr. Sarah Kinzie. Each resident will be assigned a research mentor who is a faculty member (ideally in family medicine) with skills in research. The research mentor is responsible for assisting the resident in identifying a program of training and activity in research which would extend over their entire period of the residency.
Because residents bring such a variable level of experience in research with them to the beginning of the residency program, it will be necessary to offer individual planning to each resident. Possible activities include course work (e.g. through Health Research Methodology program), seminars and workshops focused on developing research skills, involvement in existing projects or development of individual research projects.
Time to work on the research can be made available to residents in a number of ways. In the first year of the residency program, horizontal electives are available during the four months of family medicine training. In the second year, this horizontal elective is again available as well as two months of block elective time. It would be necessary to maintain the flexibility to schedule residents elective time to accommodate necessary course work. Residents enrolled in this program would be highly competitive in competing for R3 positions although funding of R3 time can not be guaranteed.
Opportunities for residents to obtain funding will be encouraged and residents will be supported in submitting their research projects for awards and competitions. Residents will be encouraged to present their research at local, provincial or national meetings. The Department of Family Medicine will support residents to present research if funds permit and according to the policy established for faculty who present their research. The Faculty of Health Sciences offers a Regional Medical Associates Research Scholarship to support original research carried out by medically qualified registered postgraduate trainees in the Faculty; applicants must be the principal investigator of the project.
More information about the research stream can be found in the following paper:
Examples of some of the research currently being conducted by faculty can be found on the recent publications page. Students who wish to gain a better understanding of some of the research that residents have published are invited to look at the following articles:
Shariff F, Levitt C, Kaczorowski J, Wakefield J, Dawson H, Sheehan D, Sellors J. Workshop to implement the baby-friendly office: initiative: Effect on community physicians' offices. Canadian Family Physician. 2000. 46:1090-1097.
Raymond E, Kaczorowski J, Smith P, Sellors J, Walsh A. Medical Abortion and the Family Physician: An opportunity to improve women's access to healthcare. Canadian Family Physician (in press).