APDIM Surveys

Survey Topic (Step 1) & Full Proposal (Step 2) Submission Guidelines

APDIM has been surveying its members since 1999 and annually since 2005. This effort has resulted in educational scholarship and generalizable knowledge about internal medicine residencies in the United States.

Email surveys@im.org for more information.

Focus of Questions

Questions appropriate for the APDIM survey are essential to APDIM and its members to inform policy, provide information for strategic planning within the organization, enhance research, and provide a platform for APDIM to gain national recognition with other organizations. 

Step 1: Preparing a Survey Topic for Submission

Requirements and Standards

Interested in proposing a topic for inclusion in the APDIM’s Annual Survey of Program Directors? Please prepare a maximum 250-word paragraph explaining your proposed topic for the yearly APDIM Survey.

Topics should be relevant and of interest to the APDIM community at large. The deadline for submitting topics to be considered has now passed. All topic proposals will be considered by the APDIM Survey Committee. The committee will choose six to seven topics for consideration of full proposals. You are strongly encouraged to review past surveys and publications to ascertain whether a topic or set of questions has been included.

Proposals will be reviewed based on—but not limited to—the following criteria:

  • Can program directors can answer the survey questions?
  • Will the results be important to the APDIM membership?
  • Will the answers have implications more broadly for GME?

You will be notified by August 1 whether your topic is eligible for a full proposal. The deadline for full proposals (if invited) is September 30, 2021.

Successful survey topic

Step 2: Preparing Full Proposal for Submission

If your (Step 1) Survey Topic has been selected, you will be contacted by surveys@im.org and invited to complete a full online proposal submission form no later than September 30, 2021.

Full proposal should contain: Theoretical framework, hypothesis for questions, relevant literature, and a first draft of questions. It is important to connect these with the problem/concern raised in your Step 1 submission.

The APDIM Survey Committee gives first priority to questions of greatest importance to APDIM and its membership. Given the nature of survey design and the fact your questions will be edited, please do not submit more than eight to 10 question items in the proposal. The goal is to produce results that are informative to the APDIM membership and publishable to include a wider audience. You are strongly encouraged to review past surveys and publications to ascertain whether a topic or set of questions has been included.

View recent survey sections (PDF)

Online Submission Form Includes

  • Section Title
  • Theoretical Framework/Background/Significance to APDIM (500 words or fewer)
  • Hypothesis/Research Question (100 words or fewer)
  • References (If applicable)
  • Questions (no more than eight to 10)

Those who are invited to submit full proposals will be notified of acceptance or rejection approximately one week after the APDIM Survey Committee’s October/Fall meeting. If your topic is not chosen for this year’s survey, you will be notified approximately one week after the APDIM Survey Committee’s October/Fall meeting. You will receive comments and feedback from the committee. After making changes, you are welcome to resubmit for subsequent surveys (and are encouraged to do so).

Tips for Submission

The Survey Committee, who will be blinded to the authors, will review all proposals.  The Committee will evaluate the proposals based on:
  • Relevance, timeliness and interest in the topic
  • Ability of program directors to answer the questions
  • Assessment of whether the results of a survey on the proposed topic would provide interesting information to APDIM and Graduate Medical Education
  • Whether the results of the survey questions would be publishable

The committee recommends that authors conduct a literature search prior to submitting a full proposal for Step Two. 

APDIM Survey Authorship

The APDIM Annual Survey undergoes a rigorous process of editing, pretesting, and pilot-testing to maximize content validity. A primary goal of the Survey and Scholarship Committee is to assist APDIM members in achieving educational scholarship through the content that they submit for inclusion in the Annual Survey.

If an author’s section is selected for inclusion, a subgroup of Survey and Scholarship Committee members will be assigned to assist with further development of and revision to your section. This will require prompt responses from section leads to request for revisions during survey pretesting and pilot-testing. Alliance Surveys staff will also assist with reviews of content to ensure that best practices for survey methodology are adhered to. All authors must agree to have their section edited by the APDIM Survey Committee and APDIM Council.

APDIM survey data collection is managed by Alliance Surveys staff, who will provide a report including survey section summary results for authors about one month after survey closure. About one month prior to their planned launch date, the APDIM Annual Surveys is submitted by AAIM Surveys staff to an institutional review board (IRB) for compliance with human subjects research protections. AAIM Surveys staff hold valid certificates in human subjects research training.

Once the APDIM survey is closed you will receive a complete, de-identified dataset including data on responding and non-responding program essential characteristics. Section authors have six months to draft a manuscript for publication. In addition, it is expected that several APDIM Survey Committee members will serve as co-authors and assist with manuscript preparation based on their interest and involvement in the particular section on the survey. The preparation of a manuscript will likely require statistical support, and the Committee would encourage you to try and identify local expertise, but will work with you to obtain statistical support, if possible.

If after six month’s the author has not prepared an initial draft manuscript, the Survey Committee reserves the right to assume the lead on manuscript preparation. The author is still included on the authorship list, but may not appear as first author if someone else writes the manuscript. Section authors have the opportunity to meet with members of the APDIM Survey Committee at APDIM/AAIM meetings to discuss and receive help to outline a manuscript.


Step 1
Topic consideration: July 1

Step 2
Full proposal (if invited): September 30