My FMRSP Experience: Learning to combine clinical practice with diverse research interests

Posted on Friday, August 16, 2019

By: Dr. Tiffany Locke

I have been interested in research since my undergraduate studies and have taken opportunities to get involved in research whenever possible since that time. I have a passion for Epidemiological research and I enjoy applying these methods to different areas because I want to work towards improving population health.

Dr. Tiffany Locke receives the Dr. Campbell T. and Pat Lamont Award for Excellence in Family Medicine Scholarly Projects from Dr. Dianne Delva

Dr. Tiffany Locke receives the Dr. Campbell T. and Pat Lamont Award for Excellence in Family Medicine Scholarly Projects from Dr. Dianne Delva

My research experience is quite varied, spanning many subject areas after taking on many different projects over the years. My undergraduate research projects were in the area of prostate and testicular cancer as well as environmental health and food contamination. My thesis project for my Masters of Epidemiology was on Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, using national hospital and laboratory data at the Public Health Agency of Canada. I also did some Masters’ work in Primary Care Research, looking at the impact of having a family doctor on self-reported health. Before starting medical school, I worked as a research assistant in systematic literature reviews at BORN Ontario. During medical school, I received a CIHR Health Professional Student Research Award to work on research projects through the Ottawa Hospital and CHEO Research Institutes.

For my FMRSP, I was hoping to do a project in primary care that would not only be relevant to Family Medicine, but also relate to Public Health. I met with Dr. Peter Tanuseputro, a Clinician Investigator at the CTLC and a Public Health Clinician Researcher at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, who also works as a Family Physician. We had a few meetings to discuss possible project topics and came to decide on one that was very relevant to public health, with a focus on vulnerable populations and the determinants of health, but was also a clinical issue that I had unfortunately seen on some of my pediatric rotations in medical school and Family Medicine residency. The project, The association between neighbourhood-level socioeconomic status and child maltreatment in Ontario: A population-based study, was aimed to assess trends of severe child maltreatment in Ontario.

Dr. Tanuseputro is an ICES scientist and works with a research team at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and the Bruyère Research Institute, which made it possible to do an Ontario-wide Project. I found the experience extremely valuable, as I was able to learn not only about research methods but also about how to combine clinical practice with research and what it is like to work as a clinician scientist.  My next plans for the project are to work on a manuscript for publication and ultimately I am hoping that the work I have done will help to improve interventions to prevent child maltreatment.

Read more about Dr. Locke’s FMRSP Project.

Dr. Locke is the 2019 recipient of the Dr. Campbell T. and Pat Lamont Award for Excellence in Family Medicine Scholarly Projects from the University of Ottawa Department of Family Medicine. Dr. Locke was also the uOttawa nominee for the University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine CSCI/CIHR Excellence in Resident Research Award, the CFPC Research Award for Family Medicine Residents and the CFPC Family Medicine Resident Award for Scholarly Achievement.

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