Organized creativity is alive and well here
"Organized Curiosity" is a description for Family Practice Research that originated with T.S. Eimerl. This description suggests a certain informality that suits us as Family Practitioners while at the same time denoting an organization suitable for methodologists. (Journal Coll Gen Pract, 1980; 3:246-52)
One of the most famous general practitioners in England in the first half of the 20th Century was Will Pickles. He is generally given credit for determining the incubation period of most of the major infectious diseases, noticing the relationship of Chicken Pox to the subsequent development of shingles, describing Bornholm's disease, describing the infectious nature of certain types of Hepatitis, and describing Farmer's Lung. The world is anxiously awaiting the new Will Pickles in modern medicine.
In the present day we, as family physicians, should answer the questions which are unique to our practices and our patient populations. Even questions seemingly answered by the specialists may need to be re-examined in the light of our own experience before they can be generalized to the types of people seen by primary care physicians.
The St. Anthony Family Medicine Residency Program seeks to instill the basic skills necessary for "organized curiosity." This occurs in the following ways:
- Journal club sharpens residents' skills in critical appraisal of the literature.
- Both providing and receiving teaching provides a chance to explore potentially interesting clinical questions.
- Each resident leads a quality improvement team during their second year. The team completes a quality improvement project and presents a poster at the annual Rocky Mountain Research Forum.
- Each resident completes a scholarly project, gaining experience in defining a research question, organizing a research proposal, data collection, data analysis, medical writing, and paper presentation. All activities are assisted by the faculty, but steered by the individual resident. Residents present their project in their third year at the annual Rocky Mountain Research Forum.