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Dana M Thompson, MD, FACS The Triological Society Chair, Thesis Review Committee.

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Presentation on theme: "Dana M Thompson, MD, FACS The Triological Society Chair, Thesis Review Committee."— Presentation transcript:


2 Dana M Thompson, MD, FACS The Triological Society Chair, Thesis Review Committee

3 THE TRIOLOGICAL SOCIETY  Founded in 1895 in New York  Best and brightest in academic and clinical otolaryngology  Society membership benefits  Provides role models  Fellowship with like-minded peers who share common values, interests, and concerns

4 WHY CONSIDER WRITING A THESIS?  Unique contribution to otolaryngology  Distinction of being elected to the most prestigious society in otolaryngology  Career advancement - early and mid-career  Requirement for promotion at many academic centers  Career defining and recognition  Career-distinguishing - senior candidates

5 REQUIREMENTS FOR CANDIDACY Board-certified otolaryngologist In practice > 3 years Published > 2 papers after residency Attended 3 national meetings in last 5 years: At least 1 must be Trio Be proposed by 2 active members & approved by Council Write a thesis for review & approval

6 SUCCESSFUL THESES Topic Areas 2001 – 2015 (n = 369)

7 SUCCESSFUL THESES Project Approach 2009 – 2015 (n = 190) 90 (47.4%) 40 21.05% 36 18.9% 14 7.4% 10 5.3%


9 2015: A YEAR OF CHANGE Through 20142015  Project categories  Basic research  Clinical research  Project categories  Basic research  Clinical research  Health services research  Technology/procedure development  Otolaryngology status and trends  Historical perspectives

10 TYPES OF PROJECTS BY CATEGORY  Clinical  Prospective or retrospective clinical data collection  Direct clinical application  Basic  Laboratory studies, in vivo, in vitro  Animal studies  Genetic studies  Health services  Patient outcomes, health-related QoL  Epidemiology, diversity, population statistics  Cost analysis

11 TYPES OF PROJECTS BY CATEGORY  Technology/procedure development  Development, standardization, beta testing of new technology  Development of new surgical or diagnostic procedure (incl. validation of HRQOL survey)  ORL status and trends  Resident and medical education  Impact of healthcare delivery systems in society  Historical perspectives  Medical history as it has influenced contemporary ORL knowledge and practice

12 2015: A YEAR OF CHANGE  Review criteria  Tailored to project category  Three scoring components  General (all)  Methods, Approach, & Conclusions (varies with project)  Overall impact (all)  Numerical scoring  Guidelines and criteria published on Triological Society website 

13 GENERAL CRITERIA  Objectives/hypothesis (where appropriate)  Focused background and review  Statement of type of project  Clearly written  Adherence to format and structure guidelines

14 OVERALL IMPACT  Significance  Was question or gap in knowledge answered, clarified, or resolved?  Will scientific knowledge and/or clinical practice be improved?  Innovation  Offer new insights into development of principles & practice of OTL-HNS?  Concepts, approaches, methods novel but valid and appropriate?  Contribution  Contribute to body of knowledge in ways consistent with mission of Triological Society?  Can project contribute to principles & practice of ORL-HNS, medicine, and/or society?

15 Maureen Hannley, PhD The Triological Society Research Consultant and Advisor


17 THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE  Read the guidelines for thesis format and submission  Read them again  Follow them to the letter

18 FOUR TESTS OF THESIS TOPIC  Is it new?  Is it true?  So what?  Who cares? Fontanarosa, 2008

19 THE ANATOMY OF A THESIS  What I did  Why I did it  How I did it  What I found  What it means


21 ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTION  Clinical relevance, not just clinical application  Will have sustainable interest  Either a positive or negative answer will be interesting  Be specific, focused, realistic  Time, resources available  Subjects  Database/access, technical assistance  Collaborators if appropriate  Expertise!


23 A WORD ABOUT RETROSPECTIVE CASE SERIES  Go beyond simple descriptive study  Should have reason for reporting  Some unique feature that would be generalizable  Some value as hypothesis-generating study  Causal comparative study  Correlation study Grimes DA, Schulz KF. Descriptive studies: what they can and cannot do. Lancet 359(9301): 145-9, 12 Jan 2002

24 A WORD ABOUT SURGICAL EXPERIENCE  Should not be limited to “how I do it” or “in my hands” reports with clinical outcome  Comparison to published or alternative procedure for same indication  Solve problems with previous approaches  Disadvantages of previous approaches with new approach advantages related to patient characteristics, complications, novel instrumentation  Current or historical outcomes


26 YOUR NEW BEST FRIEND  Consult a statistician UP FRONT!  Question design statistical treatment  Sample size estimations  Bias issues  Involve sponsor/mentor in planning process  Careful, comprehensive literature review


28 TYPES OF STUDIES  Descriptive  Observational  Experimental  Analytical

29 THE CLINICAL RESEARCH QUESTION  Begin by asking the question as a general statement  “In patients with recurrent acute sinusitis by accepted criteria is ESS the best treatment option to improve symptoms and disease-specific QOL ?”  Use PICO to help structure the question, identify elements

30 REFINE YOUR RESEARCH QUESTION  Define the population or material to be studied  Define the period of time for the study  Select the variables to be measured  Change non-specific variables into variables that can be measured.

31 WRITE THE HYPOTHESIS  Write what you expect to find from your study.  State your hypothesis in a clear, concise sentence.  Should be directional and quantifiable  Should be simple, specific, and stated in advance

32 DOES EVERY STUDY NEED AN HYPOTHESIS?  NO  Used when tests of statistical significance will be used to compare findings among groups or search for causes, effects, relationships  Key words in research question  Greater/better than, less than, more likely than  Causes, leads to, results in, produces  Associated with, related to, similar, correlated


34 TO ENHANCE CREDIBILITY  Appropriate controls  Appropriate operational definitions  Appropriate measurement tools  Appropriate design and analysis  Balanced perspective



37 DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY  Who?  What?  Where?  When?  How/how much? WHY?

38 DATA ANALYSIS  Descriptive (should always be included)  Numbers, demographics: n, age, gender, ethnicity  Central tendency: mean, median, mode, quartile  Variance: range, standard deviation, percentile  Inferential (depends on design, question, characteristics of study group)

39 WRITING THE THESIS process, a uniform level of scientific rigor can be attained to achieve three objectives: 1) provide support for the most meritorious research in otolaryngology and head


41 THE ESSENCE OF THE STORY  What you did  Why you did it  How you did it  What you found  What it means


43 THE BAIT AND THE PUNCHLINE : ONE APPROACH  Introduction  Opening quotation or fact  Context of past research  Condition of ignorance  Cost of that ignorance  Gist of solution  Conclusion  Gist of solution  Larger significance or application  What is still not known  Call for further research  Closing quotation or fact Booth, Colomb, & Williams, 1995


45 METHODS AND PROCEDURES  Sections  Subjects, participants, or material  Project design  Equipment, measures, or approach  Relevant procedures  Subject/material selection  Measurement of dependent variables  References to support choice of procedures, especially if options available  Statistical analysis as needed

46  Only results that bear on central question  Possible contributing factors to data outcomes  A good Results section should tell a story  Analyses that support the integrity of the study (internal consistency, variance, etc)  Present analyses in logical sequence  Use tables & figures to relieve clutter of numbers  No results in Discussion; no discussion in Results RESULTS


48 DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION  Put findings in context of other theories and past research  Begin with brief overview of problem and your findings  Relevance to clinical problems & practice  Identify limitations of your research


50 CONTACT Maureen Hannley, PhD 520-638-5097

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