Research spotlight: Edward Finnerty
July 1, 2010 — Seth Stevenson
Dr. Edward Finnerty has recently been appointed as the Director for OPTI (Osteopathic Post-Graduate Training Institute) Research. This will be a natural extension of his activities at DMU. Dr. Finnerty joined DMU in 1983 as a faculty member in the Department of Physiology/Pharmacology. Over the years, in addition to his teaching duties, he has been involved in a variety of research projects. Since about 2000, he found a niche in clinical studies. Starting with a collaborative project regarding the management of acute stroke with Dr. Mike Jacoby at Mercy Ruan Neurosciences he has seen this area of research at DMU blossom. He has become somewhat adept at bringing students and clinicians together to pursue clinical studies. These have ranged from analyzing the capabilities of local hospitals for management of acute stroke in Iowa to a study of the training and motivation of RAGBRAI riders. In the past year he has been working with residents at Mercy in support of their research endeavors. Though this is a classically educated and trained physiologist with a specialty in neuroscience, he has many of books on statistics and has become a prime resource for data analysis. In a past life, he was a clinical chemist and has acquired a bit of clinical perspective that helps in understanding the clinical side of the studies.
In his capacity of the OPTI research director, Dr. Finnerty will be involved in developing educational units addressing all aspects of research: formulating a question, design, developing a proposal and regulatory oversight (e.g. IRB), data collection, analysis, reporting, research ethics and integrity as well as simply how to read a paper. He will be providing direction and support to not only the resident trainees but the staff and mentors as well. He is hoping to use the OPTI consortium as a venue to promote multicenter collaboration among the training sites. This would afford a significant expansion of the subject base and substantially increase the power of any study.
One interesting aspect of Dr. Finnerty’s career is his interest in educational research. He has been involved in medical education his entire professional career and is a charter member of the International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE), actually being a leading member of this association prior to the formation of IAMSE and has numerous publications in this area.