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Research Curriculum

Internal medicine residents at the University of Oklahoma are given resources, education, mentorship and time to participate in research at various levels throughout their training, regardless of research background.
Our Research Curriculum, headed by Dr. Gabe Vidal, is divided into two parts. During the fall semester, all residents are exposed to a series of introductory lectures to clinical research. The goal is to expose all residents to the basics of research and resources available on campus. In the spring semester, residents have the opportunity to participate in small group sessions designed in a partnership with the Hudson College of Public Health. These sessions allow residents to have a more in-depth look into biostatistics and epidemiology.
Residents who choose to complete a research elective month are paired with a research mentor in an area of their choosing. The goal is to provide longitudinal mentorship on projects that will ultimately lead to publications. Residents and their faculty mentors have access to the Oklahoma Shared Clinical and Translational Resources (OSCTR) and the Biostatistics and Epidemiology Research Design and Analysis Center (BSE RDAC). These Centers/Cores are able to provide research services that can further a resident's career and scholarly performance.

Systematic Review Curriculum

Interns and residents invested in research and interested in conducting a systematic review can apply to be part of the Systematic Review Curriculum (SRC). Based out of the Department of Cardiovascular Disease and headed by Dr. Zain Asad, the goal of the SRC is to educate residents on evidence synthesis methods and provide them with research opportunities to implement their newly learned skills. Prior clinical research experience is not a requirement to apply.

From Dr Asad: "The Evidence Synthesis Lab at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center is closely tied with the Internal Medicine Residency research department. As the head of this lab, my goal is to provide residents with research opportunities pertinent to cardiovascular disease and teach them evidence synthesis methods. During this elective, we assume that the resident has zero background in clinical research and we apply innovative teaching methods. We ensure a good balance between learning research methods and at the same time completing a mentored research project. We have a close collaboration with Dr. Jessica Reese, PhD, at the OU Hudson College of Public Health and with Shari Clifton, MLIS, at the Robert M. Bird Health Sciences Library. One of our unique initiatives is to start a research elective called the “Systematic Review Curriculum" (SRC). During the SRC elective, residents learn how to perform systematic reviews and meta-analyses. One internal medicine intern is paired with a senior resident and allotted 1 month of protected research time. A problem based learning approach is applied where they select a topic for a systematic review and then attend didactic lectures, online modules and complete  assignments focused on learning systematic search methods, evidence synthesis, and statistical approaches to meta-analysis. We have a “hands-on” approach where they not only learn research methods but also directly apply them to their mentored research project. Database searching through Ovid and Pubmed, managing systematic search through Endnote and Covidence, and conducting meta-analysis in Revman are few highlights of our program. Future goals of our lab are to incorporate other methods of evidence synthesis like large database and outcomes research into research electives for internal medicine residents."

Research Faculty


 Zain Ul Abideen Asad, MD

Dr. Asad MD, MS, FACC is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Cardiovascular Section at OUHSC. He completed his internal medicine training and cardiology fellowship from OUHSC and also completed an MS in Clinical and Translational Research from Hudson College of Public Health on campus. His research interests include evidence synthesis and outcomes research related to Atrial Fibrillation. He has received several research grants for his work in atrial fibrillation and has extensively published on this subject. He is the principal investigator on the Systematic Review Curriculum (SRC) project funded by Academy of Teaching Scholars. He is passionate about training internal medicine residents as future physician scientists.

From Dr. Asad: "I completed my Internal Medicine residency at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and I can attest that the department has an absolute commitment to research. During my training I was supported at every level and on graduation I felt ready to start my career as a clinical investigator. Under the umbrella of Internal Medicine Residency Research, we have a unique environment here where you not only publish papers, you also learn how to do research. The OU Hudson College of Public Health has an excellent program, the “Master of Clinical and Translational Science”, and my program director encouraged me to enroll in that program during my residency and it prepared me very well for a research career. We have excellent mentors available in all sections within internal medicine and they will provide you with ample research opportunities."


Mr. FordLance Ford, MS

Mr. Ford is originally from Oklahoma and completed his Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, Oklahoma. His passion for helping people, but inability to deal with the sight of blood, led him to pursue a Master’s of Science in Biostatistics at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Upon completion of his Master’s degree, he was accepted into the Ph.D. Biostatistics program at OUHSC. He is now a doctoral candidate. This is his second academic year serving as the Department of Medicine Stewart Wolf Research Curriculum Guest Lecturer in Public Health.

Since being at OUHSC, he has collaborated on dozens of research projects in the Hudson College of Public Health and across campus. These projects have ranged from areas such as neurology, rehabilitation sciences, geriatric medicine, and cancer prevention and treatment. His personal research covers multilevel cluster randomized trials and statistical methods in genetics. When not at work, he enjoys running, hanging out with friends at the park, and spending time with family. 


VidalGabriel Vidal, MD

Dr. Vidal is the Director for Resident Research within the Department of Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC) in Oklahoma City. He received a Doctorate in Medicine in 2015 from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, and completed his Internal Medicine residency in 2018 and served as Chief Medical Resident at OUHSC in the Department of Medicine during the 2018-2019 academic year. He enjoys conducting research but more importantly he enjoys helping residents pursue research projects on campus. OUHSC is one of few comprehensive academic centers in the country with seven different colleges in close proximity on the same campus (Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health, Allied Health, and Graduate College). He is passionate about oncology and is currently pursuing training in Radiation Oncology at the Stephenson Cancer Center in the Department of Radiation Oncology. He enjoys spending time with his family, biking, and traveling.