Early Career Research

What Investigators Are Saying About Us: Early Career Research

“As an anesthesiologist at a Calgary hospital that does a significant number of joint replacement surgeries, I see firsthand the psychological and physical toll long wait times take on patients. Part of the anesthesiologist’s role is to optimize the health of our patients. Surely we can make use of this time to offer patients a lifestyle intervention that improves their pain, function, and health while they’re on a waitlist to see a surgeon? The Osteoarthritis Optimization Study is a randomized control trial that will randomize patients to an app based lifestyle intervention or to usual care. We intend to examine how willing patients are to adopt this app based intervention and their impressions of the app based intervention. We also hope to demonstrate improvement in quality of life scores and markers of health. As a clinician with no research background, being able to access the services of the Consultation and Research Services Platform, and to work closely with Yazid Al Hamarneh, were invaluable in creating my study protocol and preparing my grant application. I’m thrilled to have received a $35,000 grant from the University of Calgary Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative, and Pain Medicine Tim and Linda Tang Anesthesia Research Fund.”

Dr. Miriam Berchuk Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Calgary

“I am a fifth year resident in the Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism at the University of Alberta. As a part of our residency training we are required to do a research project. My residency research project is titled “Local Thyroid Nodule Aspiration Cytopathology and Malignancy Incidence”. I want to characterize our local Edmonton health regions assessment of thyroid nodules. This information will help insure that we are providing quality care and counselling to our patients and if there are discrepancies identified this will provide evidence to support quality improvement initiatives to enhance care. I need to analyze procedural results between physician groups and between those that utilize a procedural enhancing technique. Statistical analysis support is not available to me as a resident in the Department of Medicine. I reached out to the Alberta SPOR SUPPORT unit for support and they were amazing. The assistance I have received from the Alberta SPOR SUPPORT unit and Yazid Al Hamarneh has been excellent. Yazid’s consulting was timely, comprehensive and professional. As a residency training physician, with limited access to statistical research support, the assistance I have received from the Alberta SPOR SUPPORT unit and Yazid Al Hamarneh has been priceless.”

Dr. Devon Houdek Endocrinology SSR PGYS, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta

“The SPOR Consultation and Research Services Platform is an amazing resource for early career researchers! As a new researcher, working with an unfamiliar research methodology the welcoming and knowledgeable experts at SPOR helped guide my research design, and were available to answer my never ending questions throughout the study process. I am incredibly grateful for the support of the Consultation and Research Services Platform and would not have been able to successfully complete the qualitative aim in my MSc thesis without their guidance.”

Dr. Julie Beveridge Resident, Department of Surgery, University of Alberta

“HEADSTART is an ambitious multicenter trial that would revolutionize how aortic dissections are managed across the world and would positively impact a large number of very sick patients. The ‘Consultation and Research Services Platform’ has helped our core investigator group develop a database and data management strategy. The platform has been available to us for any questions and comments at all times and has provided us with helpful advice on a number of topics outside of data services. Their responses have been prompt and insightful and we have benefited greatly from this association.”

Dr. Vamshi Kotha Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Radiology, University of Calgary

“I first became connected with the Consultation and Research Services Platform at the Alberta SPOR Support Unit when I was preparing for presentation at an international conference. I received assistance with statistical analysis of data I had collected for my project evaluating thyroid gland ultrasound reports, adherence to guidelines and impact on referrals for biopsy. I had a one on one session with Dr. Al-Hamarneh who took the time to learn about my project and explain to me the necessary statistically analysis. After presenting at two international conferences, I am now confidently preparing the manuscript for publication. All of this I could not have done without the help of the Consultation and Research Services Platform. As a resident physician at the University of Alberta, research plays an important part of my training. For many residents research can be daunting especially when it comes to project design and statistical analysis. This unfortunately often results in residents shying away from research. However services like those provided by the Alberta SPOR Support Unit Consultation and Research Services, definitely encourage residents to carry out projects and ensure their success.”

Dr. Bashiar Thejeel Resident, Department of Radiology, University of Alberta

“The Consultation and Research Services Platform provided support in the statistical analysis and interpretation of data from our recent study examining a new technique in echocardiography called ‘Multi-view 3D Fusion Echocardiography. Their contribution was integral to the success of our research. They provided prompt and professional services and were able to help us meet a submission deadline on very short notice when a different group was unable to follow-through with their initial commitment to our project. Because of their excellent quality of work I would consider them as a first-choice for any further research-related / statistical consultations that our group may need to request in the future. Thanks again for that, you guys were a real life-saver there”


Dr. Tyler Lamb Graduate Student, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta