August 2002 Bulletin

OREF grants foster promising young researchers

Residents receive sizeable share of OREF funding

Since 1955, the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) has funded more than $47.5 million in research and education grants to 1,625 recipients. Much of that support–$3.3 million for 398 awards–goes to orthopaedic residents, because the OREF Board of Trustees believes in encouraging young surgeons who have an interest in research.

This emphasis on orthopaedic residents began in 1961, when OREF made its first Resident Research Award; in 2002 OREF provided 12 Resident Research Awards. These $15,000 grants encourage the research interests of residents and fellows in approved orthopaedic programs by covering research expenses for one year. The Resident Research Award is the second largest grant category for OREF, exceeded only by the OREF Research Awards.

Journal clubs

To further encourage orthopaedic residents’ interest in research, OREF has created a new program that enables academic institutions to help residents form Journal Clubs. The OREF/JBJS Journal Club grants were first offered in 2001, and to date OREF has provided more than $100,000 to 40 institutions. A new group of at least 24 institutions will receive funding in September 2002. Members of Journal Clubs read important articles in professional journals, and then meet to discuss and analyze them. In this way residents learn more about the nature of the research process, the results of that research and the ways in which research can change their practice. Journal Clubs encourage continuous learning and the sharing of ideas, thereby enhancing individuals’ skills and ultimately leading to improved patient care.

Resident symposia

Another way OREF fosters promising young researchers is by sponsoring Resident Symposia, where residents who have completed a research project make oral presentations summarizing their work. On May 17, 2002, OREF sponsored the Midwest Resident Research Symposium at the University of Illinois at Chicago, hosted by Edward Abraham, MD. There were 59 attendees, of whom 11 made presentations. These individuals represented six orthopaedic programs in Illinois. Prizes of $1,500, $1,000 and $500 were awarded for the top three papers.

On May 22, 2002, OREF sponsored the New York Metropolitan Resident Research Symposium, hosted by Joseph Zuckerman, MD, at NYU-Hospital for Joint Diseases. Fifty-four people attended this event, and 15 residents representing nine orthopaedic programs presented papers. A panel of judges representing five institutions selected the top three papers. Also, a presentation on "Writing an OREF Grant"–given by OREF Peer Review Committee member Adele Boskey, PhD–was very well received. Corporate support to OREF made both of these programs possible.

Also, on May 17, 2002, OREF collaborated with the Minnesota State Orthopaedic Society at its annual meeting to award one resident a cash prize for presenting an excellent research paper. Mark F. Swiontkowski, MD, spoke on behalf of OREF and helped coordinate the event.

The Resident Symposia, Journal Clubs and the Resident Research Awards are part of a comprehensive effort to identify, encourage and support young orthopaedic surgeons as they consider making research an integral part of their careers. Their research efforts may someday have an impact that could benefit other surgeons and their patients for many years to come.

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