Scholarly Activity

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and the Department of Internal Medicine require that all categorical internal medicine residents complete a scholarly activity in order to complete residency training.

This requirement is intended to enhance the house officer's understanding of a clinical area and/or research methodology, including design, implementation, interpretation, and presentation of results. There are no restrictions regarding the location of your project. 
The research project can take place at any time during the residency in blocks of time of one-month, serial months, or concurrently with regular clinical rotations. Up to three months could be granted for a well-designed project. The house officer is still responsible for any regularly scheduled patient care requirements such as continuity clinics, even if a block of time is used for the project. 

Presentation and Recognition

All house officers will be required to present the results of their project in the form of a poster or oral presentation and/or written manuscript. This presentation could be at the annual regional meetings of the American College of Physicians or the Mountain West Society of General Internal Medicine, the Carmel meeting, or at a national meeting. 
Each year a house officer who has done an exceptional job on a project is awarded the Excellence In Research award. 

General Support: The Office of Research or a CHOSA committee member can assist the resident with identifying a mentor or collaborator, obtaining statistical or other required support services, and obtaining funds for research supplies, travel, and other expenses. 

Approvals: All research electives need to be approved by the Committee for House Officer Scholarly Activity (CHOSA). Research elective requests must also be approved by the residency program. You can't start a research elective until all forms are in place. 

  • Quality improvement initiative 
  • Educational project 
  • Retrospective study to answer a clinical question 
  • Basic science laboratory study 
  • Database analysis 
  • Survey 
  • Clinical trial 
  • Pilot study 
  • Completing a project begun before residency 
  • Presenting results or preparing a manuscript for a project performed before residency 
  • Working with a faculty investigator on an existing project 

Timeline Suggestion

Year 1

  • Identify an advisor/mentor 
  • Identify a scholarly project/activity 
  • Develop and submit a project outline to mentor 
  • Meet with Melissa Schiff to discuss research project related to design and analysis 
  • Meet with Deborah Rhue to perform complete literature review and library consultation 
  • Submit complete Resident Research Proposal form for approval

Year 2

  • Perform the project once approvals are in place 

Year 3

  • Present or submit the project for publication 

UNM School of Medicine  has a wealth of resources to support your research and scholarly activity projects. 

  •  The  Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center (HSLIC) offers an extensive collection of materials appropriate for today’s medical research, along with dedicated medical research librarians to support your literature review and research needs. . 
  • See the wide range of backgrounds and expertise in our faculty who can be mentors and have ongoing research projects (Link to faculty profile page) 
  • Biostatistics support through CTSC. Up to 5 hours 
  • Access to Red Cap for surveys 

Clinical Services librarian   Deborah Rhue  is available for individual consultation on your project. Contact her via email  or by phone 272-3773 to set up an appointment.  


Links to full text material are available when you access databases through  HSliC  or University libraries websites. Offsite access to licensed material requires your  Username  and Password.  

  • Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews  - A collection of EBM databases  
  • PubMed  - Citations and abstracts in medicine, nursing, dentistry, health care systems, life sciences  
  • PsycINFO  - Citations and summaries of journal articles, book chapters, books, dissertations, and technical reports in psychology  
  • Web of Science  - Includes Science Citation Index which allows for searching by subject and cite authors.  

University libraries has a host of databases covering a wide array of topics that may be useful to you: Education, Health Policy, Law, Nutrition, Psychology, Sociology, and Tests& Measurement.  


Use the subject guide to help you determine which database to search. A few examples:  


  • ERIC (Education Resources Information Center)  - journal articles and reports in education  
  • Health & Safety Science Abstracts  - covers occupational health & safety, natural disasters and emergency management, medical safety, disease, injuries, and trauma  
  • PsycArticles  - full text articles from over 40 journals covering general psychology and specialized basic, applied, clinical, and theoretical research in psychology.  

Managing Your References  

Using an online citation management software program such as RefWorks™ or EndNote™ allows you to gather, manage and store your research resources. You will be able to create a personal database of references, generate bibliographies and in-text citations using a wide array of formats including journal specific formats. The   HSliC  licenses the RefWorks™ product for HSC faculty, staff, and students. Individuals must sign up for an account while on the HSC campus but once the account has been set up you may use the product anywhere. Find the link to RefWorks™ on the HSliC  All Databases web page.  

Publishing Your Work

Instructions for Authors in the Health Sciences: one stop shopping list of the instructions to authors for over 3,500 health and life sciences journals. 

Retaining Your Copyright: Keep all or partial rights to your work.

SHERPA/RoMEO: a clearinghouse of publisher’s copyright policies that will give you an idea of what your rights are with a particular publisher. 

DSpace™ UNM: is a university-based institutional repository for online digital content. Research material and scholarly publications (e.g., papers, posters, articles, images, etc.) posted on this website are freely available to anyone.

Regional Meetings

Regional Meetings


I find UNM to be outstanding and competitive academically and in all types of residency and fellowship programs. I love UNM, and I recommend UNM to other applicants because of its supportive environment and for the way the program allows us to be ourselves.
Kashif Abad, MD, Residency Class of 2023