Z Evid Fortbild Qual Gesundhwes 2016 12;110-111:69-76. Epub 2016 Jan 12.
Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt/Main, Institut für Allgemeinmedizin, Deutschland.
In Germany, medical doctorates are regularly criticized for their insufficient quality. In order to improve the quality of doctorates and to support doctoral candidates, a department-wide doctoral research program was established at the Goethe University of Frankfurt am Main in 2011 taking into account the practical needs of doctoral students at the School of Medicine. The program development proceeded in several steps: in the first step (2009/2010), a pilot study with eleven doctoral candidates was carried out at the Institute of General Practice. Their ratings of the perceived relevance and their own knowledge of 15 topics of scientific work were used to identify a provisional need for support. Subsequently an interdisciplinary panel of experts established the program throughout the faculty. Since its implementation, a requirements analysis in the form of questionnaires has been continuously carried out in order to assess the doctoral students' prior knowledge and their preferences expressed. At the same time, systematic searches for support programs in other medical fields have been conducted throughout Germany on several occasions. On the basis of the pilot study, the research results and the expert panel discussions the following topics were found to be particularly relevant: principles of good scientific practice, literature search, reference management, organization and structure of a doctoral thesis, formatting of Word documents, clinical epidemiology and data management. A specific, stepwise development process was used to design a concept for the faculty of medicine that pays close attention to the knowledge and interests of doctoral candidates. The establishment of the doctoral research program in Frankfurt and the results of its evaluation are presented in a second article (Paulitsch et al., 2016).