In 1983, the University and Erlanger sponsored the first interdepartmental event to highlight research activities at the UT College of Medicine Chattanooga: Resident Research Day. Residents were provided the opportunity to present research papers or scholarly case reports to other residents, faculty, and hospital staff. Plaques and cash awards were given in categories including Best Research Paper and Best Case Report. This event has been conducted annually since 1983 and, in 1998, was expanded to an entire week and included a poster exhibit as well as final oral presentations and awards. In 2004, the event was expanded to include a poster from one of our medical students rotating from Memphis. We now refer to it as our "Annual Research Week."
The Research Week awards are named in honor of the UT College of Medicine Chattanooga's first Associate Dean, Robert C. Coddington, M.D. Each year, residents are asked to submit abstracts of either interesting case reports or research projects with which they have been involved over the past year. Between 20 and 30 abstracts are selected for posters. These are exhibited throughout Research Week and are then judged at a Walking Poster Rounds at the end of the week. The 4 to 6 most outstanding abstracts are selected for oral presentations just prior to the awards dinner at the end of the week. Research Week is open to all residency programs and our visiting medical students. This endeavor has encouraged and fostered research efforts to expand on the campus, particularly clinical research.
The Director of Research, Dr. Gregory Heath, works in conjunction with a Research Selection Committee. Each program is represented by a faculty member on this committee. Abstracts are reviewed by the committee to determine which ones will be selected for the poster exhibits and oral presentations. Three judges are also named each year by the committee to determine the awards presented at the conclusion of the Annual Research Week activities.