The clinical practice of orthopedic surgery has advanced markedly due to an explosion of knowledge in the basic sciences of the musculoskeletal system. To interpret this material and to review research and publications critically, it is necessary to understand the scientific method. One must appreciate the intricacies of study design and have a basic understanding of how to collect and analyze data properly to be able to interpret the results correctly. Working with a mentor on a research project is the most efficient way to acquire these skills.

Because the Orthopedic Research Department considers research an important aspect of training, each resident and fellow is expected to complete at least one research project. The specific expectations of the research experience for all orthopedic residents and fellows is:

  • To gain knowledge regarding the scientific method
  • To stimulate a level of critical thinking toward new technologies, materials, and techniques
  • To formulate a research topic and design the study
  • To conduct the project and collect and process the data
  • To conduct data analyses and determine significance
  • To interpret the results
  • Basic science projects – to relate the results to clinical applicability
  • To present and publish the results of the study

Technology in orthopedics is rapidly changing, and it is sometimes difficult to assimilate the continual stream of new information. It is our hope that the MedStar Union Memorial Orthopedics experience in planning and conducting a formal research project will enhance the level of critical thinking in our graduates which will be required for them to be able to evaluate different surgical techniques, new prosthetic devices, drug therapies or new biomaterials as they treat their future patients.

For more information about orthopedic and sports research network at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, please contact us at [email protected].

For more information on our ongoing clinical trials, please contact at [email protected]

For attending, fellow and resident physicians: for more information on grants and external funding, please contact Grace Nasrallah at [email protected].