Research is the foundation and progressive lifeline of any medical profession. Both the Model of Emergency Medicine Clinical Practice and the Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors (CORD-EM) recognize the importance of training residents in research methodology and critical literature review. The focus of this degree is primarily a clinical degree, not a research-centric degree. However the ability to analyze and critically assess the medical literature becomes even more important after completing formal residency training and certification, as medical journals and other periodicals becomes the cornerstone of most clinicians' continuing medical education (CME).
In an era of dwindling resources and budget constraints, health care providers are continuously compelled to provide efficient and effective care. To meet these demands the Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant Residency has been shifting from the long standing "expert based" to "evidenced based" practice. The advent of the Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) movement has furthered these endeavors, and provides a logical model for further investigation and intellectual growth within our chosen specialty.
Clinicians must continue to question the validity of traditional practices and procedures, particularly those that have not met scientific scrutiny. In addition to the importance of self-education, research methodology is taught in emergency medicine physician assistant residency programs in the hope of fostering continued interest in scientific inquiry among emergency medicine practitioners.
Another purpose of research is to investigate common practices and share the results with colleagues and other health care providers. To accomplish this each resident will initiate or complete an approved research study and submit the findings to an indexed, peer-reviewed journal. The research project requirement will positively contribute to the body of knowledge shared by providers throughout the eclectic field of Emergency Medicine, and the Physician Assistant profession in particular.