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HDA Overview
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The Who, What and Why of HelpDesk Answers (HDAs)


Who can write an HDA ?

The FPIN author community includes faculty and residents from community-based and academic family medicine residency programs or departments.  Faculty members can write HDAs individually or alongside a writing team of fellow faculty members and/or residents. Residents must write as part of a team led by a faculty co-author.

What is an HDA? What is the time commitment? 

HDAs are tightly written research articles (450-600 words) providing evidence-based answers to clinical questions in a structured format. HDAs provide information from three to five of the most current and reliable patient-oriented citations found in the available medical literature. All HDAs go through external peer review and editorial review prior to publication.  Published HDAs are currently indexed in the CINAHL database.

First-time authors report taking 18-24 hours over a 10-12 week period to complete an HDA. Experienced authors can complete the project in approximately 10-12 hours. To see a visual timeline of the HDA project workflow, click HERE . For questions regarding HDAs, please contact our staff at


Writing an HDA can help you:

Sharpen your evidence-based medicine (EBM) skills
Receive publication credit in a family medicine journal
Improve general writing and research skills
Refine your mentoring skills
Meet RRC scholarly research and writing requirements

HDA Program Implementation

Family Physicians Inquiries Network

401 West Blvd. North, Suite D
Columbia, MO 65203

Hours: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM CST
Tel: (573) 256 - 2066
Fax: (573) 256 - 2078