Research Pioneers in Emergency Medicine—Reflections on Their Paths to Success and Advice to Aspiring Researchers: A Qualitative Study

Wendy C. Coates, Lalena Yarris, Samuel O. Clarke, Daniel Runde, Jacqueline Kurth, Emilie Fowlkes, Jaime Jordan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Study objective: Research in basic, translational, and clinical emergency medicine has made great strides since the formalization of emergency medicine as a specialty. Our objective is to identify and analyze strategies used by emergency medicine research pioneers to inform further advancement of research in emergency medicine, particularly for aspiring researchers and those in emerging areas, using emergency medicine medical education as one example. Methods: This was a prospective, grounded-theory, qualitative study, using a constructivist/interpretivist paradigm. Leading basic science, translational, and clinical emergency medicine researchers who completed residency before 1995 were eligible for structured interviews. Thematic coding followed an iterative process until saturation was reached. A theoretic model was developed and analyzed. Results: Research pioneers valued advanced methodological training and mentorship. Barriers to funding were lack of recognition of emergency medicine as a specialty, absence of a research history, and lack of training and funding resources. Deliberate interventions to improve emergency medicine research included educational sessions at national meetings, external (to emergency medicine) mentor pairings, targeted funding by emergency medicine organizations, and involvement with funding agencies. Pioneers facilitate research excellence by serving as mentors and allocating funds or protected time to develop researchers. To advance emerging subfields of research in emergency medicine, pioneers recommend advanced methodological training that is specific to the area, deliberate mentorship, and the formation of research consortia to conduct generalizable outcomes-based studies. Conclusion: Research pioneers in emergency medicine cite mentorship, advanced skills obtained through fellowship or graduate degrees, deliberate collaboration with experienced researchers, support from emergency medicine organizations, and forming networks as the cornerstones of success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAnnals of Emergency Medicine
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine

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