Resident Research Opportunities
The Royal College has mandated that all residencies contain a component of research training. At its most basic level this should include the ability to thoughtfully review the literature, understand variations in statistical techniques and trials, and then be able to interpret these as well as understand their implications for clinical practice. However some candidates may wish to pursue more formal training in research to allow for an ongoing career in academics. Accordingly, the general surgery residency at the University of Calgary has two residency research components. The general component consists of an annual two-month research block, along with a specific course in "critical thinking" methods taken in the first year. Residents are required to give an annual presentation at resident research day detailing the progress with their project, and submit at least one manuscript appropriate for publication, detailing their research results by the completion of residency. Most residents do at least two or three publications during their residency.
For those individuals who wish to pursue more in-depth training, the option of a surgical scientist program is being developed. This would consist of a two to three year break in the surgery residency typically after the third year. There are a number of appropriate mentors within the basic clinical and epidemiological faculty who would act as a preceptor and the candidate would be formally enrolled as a masters or PhD student in the faculty of grad studies. At present, several candidates are started within this stream, and it is hoped that one to two candidates from the various divisions of the Department of Surgery will pursue this option.
The goal would be to have these candidates be competitive to seek independent funding at the completion of the residency or fellowship years. This program is in place and at this time, we are actively recruiting our first candidates in General Surgery.
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