The Mission Creep of Research Programs at U.S. Regional Medical Campuses: Can Advance Occur?

By Amanda L. Golbeck and Craig A. Molgaard.

Published by Journal of the World Universities Forum

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

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

Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp.163-172. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 597.514KB).

Dr. Amanda L. Golbeck

Professor of Biostatistics, School of Public and Community Health Sciences, The University of Montana, Missoula, Montana, USA

Amanda Golbeck earned her PhD in Biostatistics, MA in Anthropology, and MA in Statistics from the University of California at Berkeley. She has held faculty positions at San Diego State University, Wichita State University, and The University of Kansas. She was also a Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford in England. She is currently a Professor of Biostatistics in the School of Public and Community Health Sciences at the University of Montana. She has developed statistical methodology and has actively collaborated on research dealing with demography and human health data. Her research interests are in the areas of health numeracy, behavioral trials, and risk adjustment.

Dr. Craig A. Molgaard

Professor and Chair, School of Public and Community Health Sciences, The University of Montana, Missoula, Montana, USA

Craig Molgaard received his PhD in Anthropology and his MPH in Epidemiology from the University of California at Berkeley. He has held faculty positions at San Diego State University and the University of Kansas, and currently is Chair of the School of Public and Community Health Sciences at the University of Montana in the United States. He has been a Visiting Professor at the Oxford University, England and the Roskilde University, Denmark. His research interests are in historical epidemiology, medical anthropology, and international public health.

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