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Establishing the research priorities of emergency medicine trainees, patients and carers across the UK and Ireland: the TERN Delphi study
  1. Robert Hirst1,2,
  2. Edward Carlton2,3,
  3. Matthew James Reed2,4
  4. Trainee Emergency Research Network (TERN)
    1. 1 Children's Emergency Department, University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust, Bristol, UK
    2. 2 Trainee Emergency Research Network, The Royal College of Emergency Medicine, London, UK
    3. 3 Emergency Department, North Bristol NHS Trust, Westbury on Trym, UK
    4. 4 Emergency Medicine Research Group Edinburgh (EMERGE), NHS Lothian, Edinburgh, Midlothian, UK
    1. Correspondence to Dr Robert Hirst, Children's Emergency Department, University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust, Bristol, UK; robert.hirst{at}

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    The Trainee Emergency Research Network (TERN) was established in 2018 by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) to increase research engagement within emergency medicine (EM). The first studies were selected at early TERN meetings and involved over a hundred EDs across the UK and Ireland.

    It is important for research engagement that trainees are interested in projects they work on. Moreover, research priorities important to clinicians reflect their daily working practice, and differ between junior and senior medical staff.1 We therefore conducted a trainee-specific research prioritisation exercise.


    A two-stage modified Delphi process was used. In stage 1, all UK and Ireland EM trainees were eligible to submit up to six research priorities using a three-part research question (patient characteristic, intervention proposed, outcome) or ‘PICO’ (population, intervention, control, outcome) format where applicable. The survey was open for 4 weeks in November 2020 using an online platform (Google Forms). It was publicised at the Emergency Medicine Trainees’ Association meeting, with accompanying posts on social media platforms and popular EM educational websites.

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    • Handling editor Jason E Smith

    • Twitter @hirstposition, @eddcarlton, @mattreed73

    • Collaborators Trainee Emergency Research Network (TERN): Andrew Brookes. Michael Connelly, Laura Cottey, M H Elwan, Fiqry Fadhlillah, Laura Gwatkin, Charlotte Lindsay, Salman Naeem, Shah M Rahman, Charles Reynard, Lisa Sabir, Nicholas Tilbury, Etimbuk Umana, James David van Oppen, Catherine Ward, Celestine Weegenaar.

    • Contributors RH was lead for the Delphi project and drafted the manuscript. EC and MJR helped with research priority shortlisting and editing of the manuscript.

    • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

    • Competing interests None declared.

    • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

    • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.