Basic Learning Pathway: Research

Learning Objectives of this Pathway:

  1. Identify the important components of research
  2. List the steps needed to effectively conduct research
  3. List the items necessary for the submission of a peer reviewed manuscript
  4. Label the items necessary for critically appraising the literature
  5. Understand the levels of clinical evidence as it relates to study design
  6. Develop an appreciation for foundational aspects of bio-statistics and epidemiology
  7. Perform a critical appraisal of the medical literature as it relates to developing a study and interpretation of contemporary and historical articles

Download a PDF of this learning pathway

Conducting Research

ACFAS Podcasts:
How to Conduct Research: An Introduction
How to Write a Grant Proposal

ACFAS Videos:
Conducting Research: From Initial Idea to Publication
Why Should I Do Research?

Other Resources on Conducting Research

Protecting Human Research Participants:

  • Belmont Report
  • (see below examples) NOTE: on home page, participants should select “register.” This brings them to a place where they can enter their institution. Most academic healthy science centers already use this program to meet HSS requirements for training and certification in human subject research. Participants should type in their institution’s name to check. There are specific packages created per institution that participants must complete. Each module takes on average 30-50 minutes to complete
    • Biosafety/biosecurity if conducting translational research
    • Good clinical practice
    • Conflict of interest
    • Responsible conduct of research
  • The Office of Research Integrity: Free interactive tool to role play and learn how to protect research participants and avoid research misconduct
  • Consider negotiating reduced group rate or free trial period for members. They offer educational resources for researchers (audience typically masters or PhD students). Modules include ones one statistical methods for research, human subject protection, consent.

Informed Consent: Training, Templates, Tips/Pearls Sheet:

Critical Appraisal of the Literature

JFAS Articles:


Other Articles/E-Textbooks:


  • Guyatt, G et al. (2015). Users’ Guides to the Medical Literature. Online e-textbook. ISBN 978-0-07-179071-0.
  • Evaniew et al. (2016). How to Use a Randomized Clinical Trial Addressing a Surgical Procedure: Users’ Guide to the Medical Literature. JAMA Surg, 151(7):657-62. PMID: 27027568
  • Thoma et al. (2004). Users’ Guide to the Surgical Literature. How to assess a randomized controlled trial in surgery. Can J Surg, 47(3):200-8. PMID: 15264385
  • Thoma et al. (2004). User’s Guide to the Surgical Literature: How to use a systematic literature review and meta-analysis. Can J Surg, 47(1):60-7. PMID: 14997929
  • Thoma et al. (2008). Evidence-Based Surgery. Users’ Guide to the Surgical Literature: How to assess an article on health-related quality of life. Can J Surg, 51(3):215-24.PMID: 1868275


The ACFAS learning pathways are a tool to be used by residency directors, fellowship directors and school faculty to aid with didactic learning during the COVID-19 crisis. They are not intended to replace a curriculum, but to supplement student and resident education during this time of need. The learning pathways are divided into basic, intermediate, and advanced categories. Pathways have been organized into specific topics that have a variety of educational materials from the ACFAS On Demand course content. They also include journal articles with links primarily from The Journal of Foot & Ankle Surgery (JFAS).