A mentor or your clinical work may help you zero in on a topic, but these tools will help you then confirm and narrow your focus.
Complete a Systematic Review
A systematic review of the research that's already been done will help you identify research gaps and may inspire you.
- Journal/Author Name Estimator (JANE): Lets you conduct your own keyword search of recent publications
- Galter Health Sciences Library: Request assistance with a formal systematic review
- Liaison Librarian Service: Each department has its own librarian to assist with your specific needs
The Northwestern Medicine Enterprise Data Warehouse (NMEDW) is the best resource for determining the feasibility of the study you now have in mind.
Data analysts are available to analyze relevant data from the site's archives of 6.3 million patients and report back on feasibility.
You'll need to put in a formal request and may want to apply to the NMEDW Pilot Data Program through the Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (NUCATS) to help cover the costs.
You can also do some work on your own using Informatics for Integrating Biology & the Bedside (i2b2).
It's a web-based tool that will let you develop and quickly run simple queries against a subset of data in the NMEDW.