CDIM Surveys

Guidelines for Submitting Questions

CDIM has been surveying core clerkship and sub-internship directors since 1999, and welcomes its physician-educator members to propose thematic question sections for its 2021 Annual Survey, which will launch in early October and close in early December.

The call for 2021 CDIM Annual Survey thematic question section submissions will open on March 24. Please visit this web page on that date; the submission form will appear under “Useful Resources.” The CDIM Survey and Scholarship Committee strongly encourages submissions on the topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Other topics will be considered for inclusion; however, DEI has been identified as a priority theme for this year’s survey.

Focus of Questions

Question sections appropriate to DEI or other topics for the 2021 Annual Survey should be relevant to and essential for undergraduate medical educators for informing organizational policies and initiatives, enhancing research, and, ultimately, better understanding and advancing the discipline and profession represented by CDIM members.

CDIM Survey Authorship

Question sections must submitted by May 3, 2021  to be considered for inclusion in the 2021 Annual Survey. Question/section submitters are encouraged to review past CDIM Survey Data and/or CDIM Survey Publications.

The CDIM 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 CDIM members in achieving educational scholarship through the content that they submit for inclusion in the Annual Survey.

If your items are accepted for inclusion in the Annual Survey, a subgroup of Survey and Scholarship Committee members will be assigned to assist with further development of and revisions to your section. This will require prompt responses from section leads to requests for revisions during survey pretesting and pilot-testing. Alliance Surveys staff also will assist with reviews of content to ensure that best practices for survey methodology are adhered to.

CDIM 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 CDIM 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.

After receiving the de-identified dataset and summary results from your survey section, a committee section liaison will be available to coordinate secondary data analysis requests from AAIM Surveys staff if you do not have access to data analysis support or cannot conduct a secondary analysis. The liaison also will contribute to the drafting of a scholarly work in addition to providing input on appropriate journal selection for successful publication. Typically, AAIM Surveys staff also provide a draft survey methods section as a “template” for inclusion in a scholarly work.

It is the goal of the committee to publish the data from each section of the Annual Survey in a timely manner. Primary authors are expected to produce a draft manuscript within six months of receiving their de-identified dataset from the Annual Survey. 

Although the Annual Survey is submitted each year for exemption from full IRB review, AAIM Surveys staff will notify authors about any additional exemptions they might need to seek from their local IRB. This might be expected by a scholarly journal if an AAIM Surveys staff member served as the study’s principal investigator but not as a coauthor for a scholarly work. Extenuating circumstances can delay the development of a manuscript in a timely manner; thus, section liaisons are prepared to assist authors with advancing their manuscript toward publication. However, if a draft manuscript has not been produced within 12 months of primary authors receiving their survey data, the section liaison may be appointed as a primary author.

Based on the guidance provided by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) on authorship, the Survey and Scholarship Committee section liaisons and AAIM Surveys staff would meet criteria for authorship based on their contributions to design and acquisition of data should they be involved in 1) later drafting and/or revising the manuscript; and 2) final approval of the manuscript for publication. Occasionally, additional committee members who have contributed substantially to specific sections may also be designated for authorship by the Survey and Scholarship Committee Chair.

Authors who submit question sections are required to digitally sign an acknowledgment of these CDIM Annual Survey Guidelines at three points, to ensure that they are aware of the expectations set for them:

  1. upon submitting their section;
  2. after a section is accepted for inclusion in a survey (if it is accepted), with authors having to sign the form within one week after being notified of acceptance; and
  3. after receiving their data file and summary results.

CDIM Survey and Scholarship Committee

The Committee and Committee Chair and AAIM Surveys staff maintain the following roles:

  • Oversight of survey submission, selection, editing, piloting, and data collection processes; obtaining IRB exemption; seeking pilot testers and suggested edits from the CDIM Council; developing a survey nonrespondent contact strategy; preparing de-identified datasets and summary results for distribution to section leads and authors. For these contributions, we ask that the CDIM Survey and Scholarship Committee be named in the manuscript. "Acknowledgments" unless they have contributed enough to a particular section to merit full authorship.
  • Providing a draft survey methods section to contributing authors after the summary results have been reported.
  • To ensure data integrity and confidentiality of responses, as well as file version control and best practices for data cleaning and data management, the survey data master files will be housed by AAIM Surveys. This also allows for the archiving of such files and data.

The committee and AAIM Surveys staff will communicate with survey contributing authors to remind them that they have six months to draft a manuscript reporting their findings. The CDIM Survey and Scholarship Committee reserves the right to assume leadership for manuscript preparation if, after a reasonable length of time, the section lead author does not make progress in doing so.

The CDIM Survey and Scholarship Committee Chair, Vice-Chair, survey writing team committee members, and AAIM Surveys staff are available to assist authors with manuscript preparation, to answer questions about the data, or to address other questions pertaining to survey findings or interpretation. AAIM Surveys staff will prepare appropriate electronic files for CDIM Survey datasets such as codebooks and de-identified datasets in a file format suitable for authors. The Committee encourages survey writing teams to consider at an early stage whether they will require data analysis support. AAIM Surveys staff can provide guidance, but due to competing responsibilities, staff must focus on the extensive survey administration, data cleaning, and summary results reporting aspect of the survey process.

The CDIM Survey and Scholarship Committee and AAIM Surveys staff:

  • Can assist with accessing and retrieving previous CDIM survey results that may be relevant and/or related to current survey findings helpful in manuscript preparation.
  • Through survey writing teams, meet with survey contributing authors to discuss manuscript preparation.
  • Will provide feedback to authors whose questions are not included in the survey.
Should inform section submitters in early May about the about acceptance or rejection of their content.