Thinking about research?
With the upcoming change of rotations happening this month, now is a good time to look at starting a research project.
Sit down with your Consultant Supervisor at the start of the rotation. Discuss your interests and theirs, career aims etc. They may have a project that they would like a trainee to take on. Or you may have ideas of your own.
Do a literature review. Check what has been published in your chosen area before starting. There is little benefit in reproducing already published material.
Don’t forget Medical Ethics. Most, if not all, journals will seek Institutional Review Board approval from your local institution. This can be time-consuming but is necessary. Don’t forget it!
Study design – plan your study. Think about what parameters you need to look at. Will it be retrospective or prospective. Who will be recruited (if any)? Etc. A good design enhances the findings, and makes it more likely of successful publication.
Cosy up to a medical statistician. Always useful to know someone who can look after the statistical analysis. Most university affiliated institutions will have someone you can contact who may be able to help you in this regard. Alternatively… you may be comfortable using SPSS, Stata yourself.
Pick a target journal. It helps to know which Journal you are looking to publish in ahead of the study. You can check criteria for publication, and it saves time in terms of reformatting the manuscript.
Finally – don’t be greedy! Always best to take on a realistic project that you can see to completion (within 6-12 months typically based on rotation) rather than having to juggle too many papers. Get it across the line!
Best of luck!