Research resources

This material was developed for Module 11 of the 2004 ANZCA curriculum. The Scholar Role of the 2013 curriculum has different requirements.

Your main aim is to complete the formal project. Many registrars see this a just a final hurdle to complete to get their FANZCA. However a familiarity and understanding of the research process will help your professional future by having a skill to evaluate new studies. Remember the factual information that you learn today will be obsolete in in the future. Some of you may actually develop an interest for further research.

The main options to complete the formal project are:

  1. Case report and literature review:
    Easy to do but not much lasting value. Need to be lucky to find a case.
  2. Participate in existing research project:
    Research is work, and it needs a team for successful completion. You can join in on an existing project. Some large research projects may be suitable as a formal project - but you will need to add you own unique contribution or insight, not just reproduce what others have done.
  3. Your own original research:
    This the most difficult, but ultimately most rewarding. Here you will learn and acquire the real skills of research.This will take at least one year but you will expect to publish a paper in a good journal.

Suggested activities, resources and information:

  1. Attend and participate in the department research meeting. 
    This is normally held on a morning in the department library. It is a good forum to work up your ideas with the benefit of the participation of other interested members of the department. Even if you do not have your own original ideas it is worth attending to learn the nuts and bolts of the research process and participate with other members of a research team
  2. The Department has a research nurse, Louise Cope. She has a wealth of experience and knowledge about the research process. Do not hesitate to ask her for  advice (page 9313). The is also a hospital statistician, Karen Byth.
  3. All research protocols (nearly) have to receive approval from the hospital's research committees (drug, scientific and ethics). This approval is an essential requirement from ALL medical journals for publication. All committees meet monthly. Please consult before submitting a protocol - it will save you a lot of time in avoiding delays and revisions.
  4. Suggested reading list:
    1. Statistics for Anaesthesia and Intensive Care by Tony Gin and Paul Myles. This small book is very helpful and pragmatic. There is a copy in the department library.
    2. Basic and Clinical Biostatistics by Beth Dawson. This a good reference book. Uses a problem based approach for real world medical problems. There is a copy in the department library.
    3. Intuitive Biostatistics by Harvey Motulsky. Copy in department library.
    4. How to Write a Paper by BMJ. This is short and to the point. Read it. Copy in hospital library.
    5. How to assess a paper from Anaesthesia April 2005
    6. Website for learning statistics
  5. Suggested software:
    1. Filemaker Pro
      We have used this for over ten years to collect, enter and organise all types of data.
    2. JMP
      This a statistical software program that is designed for the non-statistician and uses a graphical interface. Its main virtues are that if you define the data type, it will offer the correct statistical tests (!). Also good for data exploration and visualisation of relationships within data.
    3. Graphpad
      You can download the free demo for the basic version of the software (Graphpad InStat) and the easy to read textbook Intuitive Biostatistics.

Disclaimer: This site is for educational use. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. The opinions expressed here are those of the individual authors only and not of any associated institution or organisation.