Medical Students and Family Medicine Residents

Family medicine research can be very rewarding, whether it is a component of the family physician’s practice, or as a career in itself.
Learning about family medicine research is an important educational component in the academic preparation of family physicians. Development of critical appraisal skills is essential for the practice of evidence-based medicine.

Research contributes significantly to the practice of family medicine, and will become more important as family medicine faces on-going change and encounters new and difficult challenges. Incorporating solutions to these challenges will rely on new knowledge and evidence produced through clinical and scientific research.

As they move into clinical practice, residents will need to be able to assess the quality of research and apply new knowledge and evidence accurately and quickly in their day-to-day decision-making. A sound understanding of critical appraisal principles and the processes involved in research will facilitate their becoming physicians who practice evidence-based medicine.

Family physicians often find that research is a natural partner to practice, since questions in family medicine research most often arise from practice, with the family medicine practice environment a natural research lab. Combining the practice and research disciplines is a natural fit, with one discipline complementing the other, and can add a new level of involvement in their day-to-day practice. Family medicine research can also be a rewarding career path for family physicians.

Family medicine research is also critical to the ongoing development of family practice. While supporting individual practice, family medicine research can also significantly influence policies affecting the health care system.

Given the family physician’s role as patient advocate, a sound knowledge of family medicine research as a discipline in itself can support this role and allow family physicians to be influential in shaping the health care environment in which they practice.

A great way to learn about family medicine research is to join the Section of Researchers. We also invite you to and keep in touch via this site, and through our newsletter, Kaleidoscope. You can also check out what’s happening at each of the Canadian University Family Medicine Research Department sites.

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