The core investigation component of the three cores puts emphasis on the importance of research. The chair, program director, and faculty members encourage the pursuit of research. Residents are required to select an annual research (scholarly) topic in conjunction with a department faculty member and to prepare a manuscript. All residents are required to perform one research project during each year of their residency in order to be qualified to advance to their next year of training. This can take the form of a case report, case series, review, book chapter, online web-based educational material (exception is that the required dermatopathology web case which does not count), or clinical trial with the goal of submission to a peer-reviewed journal. All research projects must proceed under the supervision of a faculty mentor. Residents are assigned protected academic time to pursue research interests. It is expected that this time will be supplemented by additional effort in "off-hours" to achieve research goals.
Each resident will be required to complete (to the faculty mentor's satisfaction) a manuscript report for peer review publication prior to the end of each academic year of residency (for a total of three manuscripts over the course of three years) to satisfy graduation requirements. The status of the resident project will be reviewed and evaluated routinely by the program director to ensure progress toward completion of the research requirement. Residents in the UPMCMEP in Dermatology Program are provided protected academic time (generally one half day per week). This time is protected to provide residents with an opportunity to pursue an educational project (i.e. lecture development, presentations, research). The protected time for the residents is intended to help residents enhance their residency experience. Protected time is contingent on acceptable progress toward completion of the annual resident research project described above. In addition, any delinquencies in meeting required program assignments (duty logs, surgical logs, journal club and grand round protocols, compliance testing) may result in a penalty of losing academic time. This is at the program director's discretion. No academic time is given to residents on inpatient consults or dermatopathology rotations.