Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics Research Network
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2012 SDBP

Title: Research training of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Fellows:  A survey of fellowship directors by DBPNet

David J. Schonfeld*, Susan Wiley*, Bridget Fredstrom*, and Lynne C. Huffman** *Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and **Stanford University School of Medicine

Background: Although fellowship programs are required by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education   (ACGME) to provide a minimum of 12 months of scholarly work, little is known about the nature and effectiveness of research training for fellows in the field of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP).

Objective: This descriptive study aimed to characterize the content and methodologies used for research training in accredited DBP fellowship programs and the outcome of this training.

Design/Methods: Directors of all accredited DBP fellowship programs were invited by DBPNet to complete an on-line survey regarding the content and structure of research training and their fellows’ research experience. Follow-up contact was completed by e-mail if answers needed clarification.


For Fellows During the Academic Years 2006-7 to 2010-11

•Current and/or past fellows (n=166)

•Completed fellows (n=96)

Research Projects

•Twice as many fellows initiated their own research project (N=91) rather than joining an existing research project (N=45)
•86% of all projects addressed clinical/translational research
•23% received primary mentorship outside of division
•Among completed fellows, majority of research projects were:
•Observational/epidemiological (29%); secondary analysis of large dataset (22%); community-based research (16%); survey/questionnaire design (15%)
•Fewer than 4% of projects were:
•Quasi-experimental; qualitative methods; development/validation of instruments; randomized control trials; basic science research, none involved clinical drug trials or bio-imaging

Scholarly Activity Among Completed Fellows

•84% presented at a national meeting
•59% published results in peer-reviewed journal

Fellow Graduate Career Paths

•79% entered a faculty position
•Only 17% had at least 25% protected research time

Fellowship Directors Perceived Barriers to Research Training

•Lack of time and money
•Balancing clinical demands and protected research time
•Limited faculty research activities or expertise

Lack of infrastructure for fellow research mentoring

Conclusions: Scholarly work of fellows in DBP fellowships has focused primarily on observational/epidemiological research, secondary data analysis, community-based research, and survey/questionnaire design.

Barriers continue to exist, primarily in regards to time and money and faculty expertise for research mentoring.
Though the majority of graduating fellows enter a faculty position, few have protected research time in these positions.