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Considering Research Education During Psychiatry Training
J Korean Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2022; 33(4): 83-83
Published online October 1, 2022
© 2022 Korean Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Hee Jeong Yoo

Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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In order to become board certified in Korea, it is mandatory for psychiatry trainee residents to publish an original research article as the first author. Despite the consensus that early exposure to research experience provides an essential opportunity to foster the academic career of medical doctors, as well as their future attitudes toward medical research in post-residency practice, trainees often experience significant barriers, including lack of time, interest, or mentoring faculty [1-3]. Given that the primary goal of residency training is to ensure that trainees become competent and ethical clinicians, participating in academic research and publishing research articles can sometimes be viewed by senior residents as just another duty that must be fulfilled. In the autumn to winter issues of the Korean Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (KACAP) journal, we encounter the products of such research efforts and the investigations s of residents and their mentor psychiatrists.

Publishing a research article is not merely a matter of performing statistical analyses and writing in a formal way, but is rather a more comprehensive process. Medical research often starts with questions, and then proceeds to development of hypotheses, writing a grant proposal and related processes, ethics approval, collecting data, collaboration with multiple parties, development or learning of novel methods, and all manner of trial and error in between, both from the scientific and real-life perspective. I often use the analogy of cooking to explain the research process to my trainees. Academic writing is much like preparing an enjoyable meal to serve: it involves selecting ingredients from the market, washing and cutting, and determining the appropriate method of cooking and plating. However, the whole research process is proceeded by many more fundamental processes, similar to planting the seed or a cow bearing a calf. I would even say that medical research is a process of cultivation; we cannot know how successful the final product will be, and whether the dish is worthy of being served at a Michelin- starred restaurant or will be a humble and ordinary bowl of rice for my own table.

What is expected from trainee residents in terms of training for research paper writing? To continue the cooking metaphor, it equivalent to inviting our young children to the kitchen where we are cooking, allowing them to experience observing and practicing the preparation of an edible dish with the help of their supervisors. In research training, it is not necessarily intended for trainees to experience the whole cultivation process of its ingredients, but in the very least, to help them recognize that medical knowledge does not simply comprise a collection of ready-made facts written in the textbook, but is instead the product of intensive, collective, and dialectic processes that often takes a considerable amount of time. In other words, the most essential skills that I expect trainees to gather from research training are to practice eliciting questions based on the experience of patients and clinical processes, translating questions to research design, consideration of research ethics and scientific communication, and appreciating the participants who willingly provided their own data to the research team.

These processes are not completely separate from clinical practice itself, as the core of clinical practice involves logical thinking, communication, and efforts to make it more efficacious. Most importantly, evidence-based medical practices cannot be established without medical research; therefore, inviting trainees to research relevant subjects provides them with insight into how evidence is formed, validated, and applied. It is my hope that the KACAP journal can play the role of a friendly but fair dining table upon which trainee residents may serve their creative dishes, cooked with the curiosity and diligence of their young minds, as well as that of a trusted resource which they can consult when they pursue their careers as medical researchers.

References
  1. Abi Khalil P, Honein-Abou Haidar G, El Achi D, Al-Hakim L, Tamim H, Akl EA. Views of medical residents on a research training program: A qualitative study. PLoS One 2022;17:e0261583.
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  2. Dagher MM, Atieh JA, Soubra MK, Khoury SJ, Tamim H, Kaafarani BR. Medical Research Volunteer Program (MRVP): innovative program promoting undergraduate research in the medical field. BMC Med Educ 2016;16:160.
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  3. Smith M. Research in residency: do research curricula impact postresidency practice? Fam Med 2005;37:322-327.
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