The purpose of this study is to examine the nature and extent of research at regional medical campuses in the United States. Little attention has been paid to regional medical campuses in the published literature, and only recently has there been an attempt to describe the national landscape of these campuses (Mallon et al, 2003). To our knowledge, there is no study in the peer-reviewed literature that specifically addresses the role of research at these campuses. Results from surveys of deans of regional medical campuses (n=15) and their administrative assistants (n=13) indicate that key predictors of research success on a comprehensive medical campus are generally lacking at their affiliated regional campuses. These include separate mission statements with research emphases; separate administrative units that provide assistance with grant development, clinical trials, or grant processing; dedicated associate executive officers for research who are tenured; faculty rewards for conducting research, such as ‘buy-out’ from teaching/clinic or monetary rewards; full-time tenure-track faculty or post-doctoral fellows with active research programs at the campus; or campus IT departments that are effective at facilitating research. Also generally lacking are campus-based research oriented training programs such as the Master of Public Health, and even individual courses available to faculty in basic research design or in statistics/biostatistics beyond the introductory level. Respondents to this cross-sectional survey, on average, rate the strength of the research culture on their campuses, relative to clinical practice and teaching, as weak, with only moderate support from their main campuses toward growing research on their regional campuses. These problems that are associated with research infrastructure and activity within regional medical campuses in the U.S. have implications for physician training that are presented and discussed.
|Keywords:||Research Success, Research Mission, Grant Development, Clinical Trials Development, Grant Processing, Research Rewards, Facilitating Research, Research Training, Research Culture, Research Infrastructure, Physician Training|
Professor of Biostatistics, School of Public and Community Health Sciences, The University of Montana, Missoula, Montana, USA
Professor and Chair, School of Public and Community Health Sciences, The University of Montana, Missoula, Montana, USA
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