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Abstract

Health Professional programs incorporate the principles and methods of clinical research and evidence based medicine (EBM) into their curriculum to encourage evidence based practice in health care. However, many faculty that join health profession programs do so after having worked in clinical practice for some time with limited experience in clinical research and EBM making successful guidance of students difficult for some. This study describes implementation of the Research Circle at Grand Valley State University, where faculty from diverse disciplines such as physician assistant, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology, radiology, and dietetics came together to share and learn basic concepts in clinical research and EBM. Methods: The Research Circle started in the fall semester of 2013 with monthly meetings and concluded in April of 2014. Meetings consisted of informal presentations on topics relevant to clinical research. A survey was sent to the participants before (pre) and after (post) conclusion of the Research Circle meetings using SurveyMonkey®. This survey was designed to assess the general comfort level with clinical research and its perceived importance in teaching as well as clinical practice. Results: A combined 22 faculty participated in at least one meeting of the Research Circle. Nine faculty, who participated in at least 75% of the Research Circle meetings and completed both the pre as well as post survey, were included in this study. Participation in the Research Circle improved the perceived comfort level of the participants as it relates to research and use of the scientific literature. Furthermore, knowledge of the research process in teaching was valued as more important by faculty after attending the Research Circle. Conclusions: The results described in this preliminary study suggest that implementation of the Research Circle can positively impact faculty perception of and comfort level with clinical research and the scientific literature, establishing a basis from which to develop and improve the skills needed to teach and practice EBM in health care. Notably, the Research Circle has provided an opportunity for faculty from diverse disciplines to come together to learn and discuss, providing a venue to share their research interest and connect.

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