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October 2001

The Value of Research in Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2001;127(10):1185. doi:10.1001/archotol.127.10.1185

IN THIS ISSUE of the ARCHIVES, the article "The Otolaryngology Research Paradox" by Naclerio and colleagues1 is both timely and important. The authors report the results of a survey of chairpersons of otolaryngology departments where residency training is provided.

The questionnaire developed by Naclerio et al surveyed the chairpersons on the status of and attitudes toward, as well as support and training for, research within their departments. The survey yielded worrisome results. On the positive side, most program directors indicated that research was very important to the field of otolaryngology–head and neck surgery. However, among other important findings, the survey results show that relatively little time, effort, training, or resources are devoted to research. While 63% of the clinical faculty surveyed reportedly conduct research, only a half day per week on average is spent on such research. Naclerio et al also cite related research that suggests that (1) most clinical faculty do not have time for research, (2) research is considered a lower priority than clinical skills and resident teaching in hiring decisions regarding new faculty, (3) most clinical faculty would not recommend our most research-intensive training programs to medical students, and (4) many of our younger faculty members believe that conducting research is less important to their success than developing clinical and teaching skills.