Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Students Interested in Research



Prepare to perform research using the suggestions in this document (CITI program training, readings, library course, and scientific writing practice)

Work methodically and fastidiously to ensure accuracy of data

Understand the regulatory and institutional requirements governing human subjects research

Email de-identified data exclusively and only on Einstein address to prevent disclosure of PHI

Refresh skills core to research: Statistics, Excel


Clinical research, whether interventional, observational or retrospective, concerns itself with human subjects. As such, there is potential for various kinds of harms, including breach of confidentiality and risks of embarrassment. Infractions compromise the integrity of the faculty members and residents in this and collaborating departments.

The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery expects all students to maintain the highest level of integrity, professionalism and respect for HIPAA.


Before you start (Required preparation for clinical research participation):
Obtain and display proof of influenza vaccine during season

  • Complete CITI program training and Conflict of Interest disclosure
  • Familiarize with IRIS website
  • Learn research terms
  • Take a library course on searching the literature
  • Select several journal article for scientific writing examples
  • Read about coding data for research purposes

Consider Einstein online Research course: Clinical Research 101, lecture series providing the fundamentals of clinical research methods. 


  • Maintaining contact/responsiveness

The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery acknowledges that medical students are busy and that schoolwork and clinical rotations take precedence. The expectation is that students will remain in touch, respond to emails and inform the research team when they are too busy to participate. The department will employ a “3 strikes” policy; students who repeatedly default on commitments or remain out of contact will be dismissed from participation in research.

  • Accountability

There is no penalty for reversing the decision about participating in research with our department. However, if the decision is made to discontinue participation, we request that you contact Sara Merwin by email to inform of your decision.

Desirable skills to conduct clinical research

  • Knowledge of statistics/statistical software
  • Power Point
  • Excel
  • Editing
  • Previous experience in conducting clinical research
  • Data management and coding techniques

Activity log

  • Time and specific effort allocated to each project
  • Hours devoted to research, including offsite efforts

Reading list

Basic surgical clinical research textbook: Bhandari and Joensson “Clinical Research For Surgeons”, 2009, Thieme Medical Publishers, New York

Clinical research articles: primer by Kocher, M. S., & Zurakowski, D. Clinical epidemiology and biostatistics: a primer for orthopaedic surgeons. The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, 2004; 86(3): 607-620.

Practical Research Methods for Orthopaedic Surgeons, Dowrick A, Tornetta P, Obremskey WT, Dirschl DR, Bhandari M, J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2012;94:369-74 

Top tier orthopaedic surgery peer review journals (Choose relevant articles to cite from this list first) 

  • American Journal of Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research (CORR)
  • Foot & Ankle International
  • Journal of Arthroplasty
  • Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS) American volume
  • The Bone and Joint Journal (JBJS British)
  • Journal of Hand Surgery
  • Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma
  • Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics
  • Sarcoma
  • Spine
  • Journal of Orthopaedic Research

Writing Skills Preparation

Pick 3 articles for format, style, language, organization: pay attention to scientific style of writing: Click here 

Tangible rewards from participation

Publications, presentations, abstracts

The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery values the contribution of medical students and is pleased to reward excellence with attribution in scholarly publications and presentations. This attribution may take a variety of forms – ranging from an acknowledgment to first authorship -- depending on the time, effort and specific contribution of the student. The Department endeavors to prepare student scholars to present their work at Health System, regional and national meetings but cannot financially support the costs associated with presentations.

Exposure to faculty

Through your research experience, you will interact with faculty from orthopaedic surgery and related specialties.