Research in Medicine (RIM)
So, what is RIM?It’s a course that’s unlike the others you’ll be taking during medical school. It’s a longitudinal and self-directed course, meaning you’ll be involved with it, to greater and lesser extents, throughout your entire medical school experience.
RIM has a double focus:
- Firstly, RIM will help you develop, or refine, some of the skills you need in order to interpret, and be critical consumers of research evidence
- Secondly, through RIM you’ll have the opportunity to design and execute your own research project. RIM gives you the opportunity to learn about research by doing it: it’s called experiential learning. It’s an excellent, and unique opportunity
What will you actually be doing during RIM?
- You’ll find a mentor to guide you through the research process, and build a relationship with that mentor. They will help you decide what’s feasible and can be accomplished in your timeline
- You’ll complete a series of research-based curricular offerings, to help you understand various facets of research (CREO)
- You’ll develop a research proposal, in your area of interest
- You’ll complete a paid summer studentship in your area of research, allowing you to make some significant headway on your project
- You’ll present your work at a peer-reviewed conference
- And finally, you’ll prepare a publication-quality manuscript, which may or may not be published.
There’s a lot of scope to make the RIM program work for you. And that there’s tremendous opportunity through RIM: to contribute to knowledge, to build your research skills, to build your CV or, to try something new.
The Research in Medicine unit is designed to instill a high level of critical thinking and create a culture of inquiry among our learners. At the end of their undergraduate medical training, the graduates should see themselves no longer as consumers of knowledge but as professionals with responsibility to generate knowledge to advance their profession. The role of “Scholar” and being a lifelong learner are both CanMED roles and part of Dalhousie Medicine’s Entrustable Professional Activities. Ideally, graduates will be inspired to continue their involvement in research throughout their professional careers.
RIM Overview and Objectives
The RIM unit is a 3-year longitudinal program, beginning in September of first year with completion in September of students' fourth year. All Dalhousie medical students are required to complete a RIM project during medical school. Exceptions are Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFS) students and international medical students (IMGs and IMUs).
Research is built around an intensive summer studentship, typically in the students’ first year. To support students, Dalhousie Medicine provides $5,000 in funding to offset the costs of research efforts. This is not a competitive process and no application is required.
There are two main roles a faculty could play in the RIM unit – RIM Mentor and RIM Director. The RIM Mentor serves as the primary supervisor for the student’s research. Students will be provided a list of faculty mentors in September and will have the autumn to select their mentor, who acts as their research supervisor. Each student will be assigned a faculty member as their RIM Director, who will assist the student in navigating RIM and will monitor and approve each stage of the student’s research progress, conducted under a faculty mentor.
With the growing need to train and educate physicians who can contribute to health and healthcare beyond clinical medicine, it is hoped that RIM students will develop an appreciation for the pursuit of a career in clinical practice and research. There will be an annual RIM Research Day in September during which all students (years 1-4) can interact with their colleagues and hear RIM presentations from other medical students.
RIM Unit Head
Dr. Anna MacLeod (also serves as chair of the RIM Committee)
RIM Unit Co-Chair, DMNB
Dr. Colleen O’Connell
DMNB Longitudinal Curriculum Coordinator (includes RIM)