Jeff Perry

Small Research Grants Are Just as ImportantPerry_Jeff

After beginning my research career 10 years ago, I am now Associate Professor with the Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Ottawa, and a Senior Scientist with the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. I was recently awarded a Research Chair at the University of Ottawa for Emergency Neurological Research and hold a Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) Salary Award. My research career began with completing a family medicine resi­dency at Memorial University and emergency medicine residency at the University of Manitoba. I then completed the Emergency Medicine Research Fellowship at the University of Ottawa while obtaining my Master of Science in Epidemiology in 2002. It was during my research fellowship that I obtained my first CAEP grant. I subsequently received two more grants over the next four years. These grants, ranging from $800 to $5,000, were key to starting my research career by allowing me the opportunity to conduct initial pilot studies on subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) patients.

Without initial “seed” money from organizations like CAEP, it is nearly impossible to conduct the pilot and feasibility studies required to obtain funding from larger, highly competitive granting agencies. Unfortunately, there are now limited agencies to obtain these funds and many departments, which previously had funding available, no longer support research with internal funds.

The initial CAEP funding has led to three successful CIHR grants for research to improve the diagnosis of SAH. We have successfully derived three clinical decision rules for determining which headache patients require investigations for SAH. This manuscript was recently published in the British Medical Journal. We also completed a study assessing the sensitivity of computed tomography for SAH. In this study, we found the sensitivity of computed tomography to be 100% (95% confidence bands: 97–100%) when the scan was performed within six hours and interpreted by an experienced radiologist using thin cuts of 5mm and modern 3rd generation scanners. The valida­tion study of these clinical decision rules was recently completed and the results will be presented at the 2012 CAEP conference.

Jeffrey J. Perry, MD, MSc, CCFP-EM

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