Variability in Institutional Board Review for a Multisite Assessment of Resident Professionalism

Judith A. Linden, Jeffrey I. Schneider, Andrea Cotter, Sabrina Drexel, Emily Frosch, Niels D. Martin, Colleen Canavan, Matthew Holtman, Patricia M. Mitchell, James A. Feldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Residents serve as both trainees and employees and can be considered potentially vulnerable research participants. This can lead to variation in the institutional review board (IRB) review. We studied sites participating in the Assessment of Professional Behaviors Study sponsored by the National Board of Medical Examiners (2009-2011). Of the 19 sites, all but one were university affiliated. IRB review varied; 2/19 did not submit to a local IRB, 4/17 (23%) were exempt, 11/17 (65%) were expedited, and 2/17 (12%) required full Board review; 12/17 (71%) required written informed consent. The interval from submission to approval was 1 to 2 months (8/17); the range was 1 to 7 months. Although most stated there were no major barriers to approval, the most common concern was resident coercion and loss of confidentiality. Local IRB review of this educational research study varied.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-125
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019


  • graduate medical education
  • institutional review boards
  • medical professionalism
  • research ethics committees

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Communication


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