Conducting research that elevates quality and performance in medical development is a core purpose of the JHMPI.

“Why research?”

Research evidence that establishes effectiveness is the foundation of medical practice.  Medical development has yet to base its practices upon sound evidence regarding effectiveness. Through true scientific research, we can build an evidence base to support this profession and to improve its quality, credibility, and impact.

“Don’t we already conduct research?”

Development “research” is primarily benchmarking. Benchmarking data can describe practices, tabulate results, and make comparisons — but cannot establish effectiveness or definitively answer research questions.

“What actually is real research?”

Scientific research differs from efforts such as benchmarking by:

  • Careful formulation of the research question
  • Choice of a study design that is matched to the research question
  • Well-defined methods of study conduct
  • Standardized data management practices that ensure data quality
  • Statistical analysis
  • Interpretation only as supported by the data and analyses

“How will research help development professionals?”

Guiding development practices
We can intelligently opt for strategies that have been found effective, and confidently abandon those that have not.

Raising quality of practices
In research, we must first define and standardize the practices we study. The methods, thus honed, can serve as templates for others to follow.

Increasing productivity
Research results could support development professionals in choosing effective practices.

Enhancing efficiency
An accessible evidence base could allow us to learn from what has been established, rather than each recreating the wheel.

Building credibility for our profession
Key constituents – physicians, scientists, administrators, and leaders – operate within a paradigm of evidence-based practice; by following suit, we will garner their greater respect.


Rum S, Wright SM. A randomized trial to evaluate methodologies for engaging physicians in grateful patient fundraising. Academic Medicine 2012;87(1):55-59.

Wheeler JL, Rum SA, Wright SM.   Philanthropy, medical research, and the role of development.  American Journal of Medicine 2014;127(10):903-4.

Rum SA, Wheeler JL, Wright SM.  Instituting and teaching ethical standards for grateful patient fundraising. Journal of Clinical Oncology 2016;34(12):1423-4.

Collins, Megan E., MD, MPH; Rum, Steven, MPA; Wheeler, Jane, MSPH. et al. Ethical Issues and Recommendations in Grateful Patient Fundraising and Philanthropy. Academic Medicine 2018;93(11): 1631-1637.