The Department of Surgery at the Indiana University School of Medicine offers optional research years to surgery residents that range from translational sciences to global health and surgical education after their second or third clinical year of residency. They dedicate a minimum of two years and have an opportunity to complete an advanced degree at no cost. During research years, residents gain valuable lab experience, opportunities to publish and present research, and the environment to build a professional network of colleagues to help navigate their future.
“I really hope they see this time as a growing period in which they can learn a lot in how to work with other people, how to critically evaluate scientific literature, and how to present their work to others,” said Troy A. Markel, MD, director of Pediatric Surgery Research and program director of General Surgery Resident Research for IU School of Medicine. “The resident becomes intimately associated with the body of literature of their interest,” he said, and they can “tease apart the scientific methodology. These lessons can help them when they return to their clinical duties as they learn to practice medicine based on the best evidence in the literature.”