Background: Although generalist physician faculty typically lack the skills needed to conduct research, few medical schools offer on-site faculty development programs that teach research skills. Description: To address this dilemma, our medical school introduced a part-time Primary Care Research Fellowship offering full-day classes once a week over 10 months. Evaluation: We asked the 22 general internists, general pediatricians, and family physicians who participated in the program to rate their experience, and we measured their research productivity during the 3 years before and 3 years after completing the program, using a group of matched controls for comparison. Participants rated the program highly and increased their aggregate research productivity from 1 publication before completing the program to 6 publications afterward, although this increase did not reach statistical significance (p =.09). Controls exhibited substantially higher baseline productivity than fellows (10 publications vs. 1 publication, p =.03), but controls' productivity changed little between the first and second measurement periods (10 and 7 publications, respectively). Conclusion: Our mid-career research training program enabled primary care academic faculty to gain confidence in their ability to conduct a scientific study with minimal disruption to their teaching and clinical activities.
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