Impact of a resident-driven research club on scholarly activity in an academic internal medicine residency program during the COVID-19 pandemic
Olanipekun T, Abe T, Effoe V, Charaf C, Ivonye C, Bakinde N. Impact of a Resident-Driven Research Club on Scholarly Activity in an Academic Internal Medicine Residency Program During the COVID-19 Pandemic. J Med Educ Curric Dev. 2023;10:23821205231210059. Published 2023 Nov 22. doi:10.1177/23821205231210059
Objectives: Traditional journal clubs have been shown to be insufficient in improving residents' scholarly productivity, often due to the inability to sustain residents' interest and participation. Additionally, the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic restrictions caused a decline in academic scholarly productivity across residency programs. We evaluated the impact of a resident-led research club called 'journal café' on residents' scholarly productivity by comparing scholarly output between the journal café members and non-members during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods: The journal café was established in the 2012/2013 academic year by internal medicine residents of a university residency program in Atlanta, Georgia, to foster self-directed collaboration among residents based on shared interests in academic research. The journal café runs independently of the residency program's journal club. We categorized IM residents at our institution into journal café members and non-members and collected data on their research productivity during residency training and the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey was conducted between April and June 2021 and analyzed data presented using frequencies, tables, and appropriate charts.
Results: Sixty-eight residents (29 journal café members and 39 non-members) completed the survey (response rate of 85%). A significantly higher number of journal café members reported having five or more research publications (55.1% vs 7.1%, P < .001) and scientific presentations (48.3% vs 2.6%, P < .001) compared with non-members. Additionally, more journal café members published COVID-19-related research in peer-reviewed journals compared with non-members (68% vs 32%, n = 19). Finally, most of the residents cited the opportunity of a platform to share and brainstorm on research ideas as the reason for joining the journal café.
Conclusion: We found an association between journal café participation and increased scholarly activity, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Independent resident-led research clubs supported by the residency program may complement the traditional journal clubs and enhance residents' participation in research.