Jerry Schreibstein, MD, an otolaryngologist who has been in private practice in western Massachusetts for 18 years, said being involved in the network has been worth it. “I call myself a non-academician who still likes to be involved in clinical research and be challenged academically,” he said. For the required training in Virginia, a good balance has been struck, with a doctor sacrificing a few days for the visit and the network covering the travel arrangements and expenses, he said. “We feel that’s a nice balance and really doesn’t hurt us too much on the financial end, but it gives a great resource to the practice,” he said.
Explore This IssueOctober 2012
Kris Schulz, MPH, the CHEER project leader and co-investigator, said there are resources available for a wide variety of pursuits. “Whatever your degree of involvement is and your desire, whether it’s more to have the academic engagement or if you want to wet your feet or do a grant or manuscript, we can provide that support,” she said.
The Basis of Clinical Practice
Dr. Witsell said there are plenty of reasons clinicians should take more interest in practice-based research. For one, this is the kind of research that helps form the basis of the clinical practice itself. Additionally, it gives doctors a chance to collaborate both inside and outside of their own communities and provides an outlet for what he calls “clinical curiosity.” There are plainly practical reasons as well. It’s a way to explore your own biggest challenges and questions in the patient-care dilemmas you face every day, he said.
That said, the main challenges to conducting this type of research are resources and time, along with the difficulty of customizing the approach so that it can be entwined with daily practice and the result isn’t just lost investment. But, Dr. Witsell said, under the right guidance, the payoff can be great. “We want to attack questions that are dealt with on a daily basis,” he said, “and are important.”
For more information on how to get involved with the network, visit www.cheerresearch.org and click on “Contact Us.”