The prime curriculum - Clinical research training during residency
AIM: The Primary Medical Education (PRIME) program is an outpatient-based, internal medicine residency track nested within the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) categorical medicine program. Primary Medical Education is based at the San Francisco Veteran's Affairs Medical Center (VAMC), 1 of 3 teaching hospitals at UCSF. The program accepts 8 UCSF medicine residents annually, who differentiate into PRIME after internship. In 2000, we implemented a novel research methods curriculum with the dual purposes of teaching basic epidemiology skills and providing mentored opportunities for clinical research projects during residency. SETTING: Single academic internal medicine program. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: The PRIME curriculum utilizes didactic lecture, frequent journal clubs, work-in-progress sessions, and active mentoring to enable residents to "try out" a clinical research project during residency. PROGRAM EVALUATION: Among 32 residents in 4 years, 22 residents have produced 20 papers in peer-reviewed journals, 1 paper under review, and 2 book chapters. Their clinical evaluations are equivalent to other UCSF medicine residents. DISCUSSION: While learning skills in evidence-based medicine, residents can conduct high-quality research. Utilizing a collaboration of General Internal Medicine researchers and educators, our curriculum affords residents the opportunity to "try-out" clinical research as a potential future career choice.