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Research Year(s)

The IU School of Medicine Department of Surgery has a tremendous commitment to research in areas of clinical and translational sciences, global health, and surgical education. Research allows the team to identify solutions to clinical problems and bring evidence-based approaches to the bedside that benefit patients.

Typically, surgery residents have an opportunity to participate in an optional research fellowship after their second or third clinical year of residency. For those who commit to research within the department, a minimum of two years is required and completion of an advanced degree is expected at no cost to the trainee. Advanced degrees include a Master’s Degree in Clinical Research, Translational Science, Public Health (Global Health Fellowship), Health Professions Education (through University of Illinois-Chicago), the Surgical Education Research Fellowship, or Biostatistics. While not mandatory for residents, research fellowship opportunities are required by both the ACGME-Residency Review Committee for Surgery and the American Board of Surgery.

The Department of Surgery has numerous active research laboratories that coincide with the Master’s degrees in clinical and translational science, including labs in gastrointestinal surgery, hepatopancreaticobiliary surgery, minimally invasive surgery, breast surgery, pediatric surgery, plastic surgery, surgical oncology, transplantation, cardiac surgery and vascular surgery. Other opportunities exist on the Indianapolis campus for resident research fellows to work in basic science laboratories. Research opportunities also exist beyond the bench and involve prospective and retrospective clinical research, clinical trials and outcomes/informatics research. The Regenstrief Institute, arguably the world’s most advanced informatics institute, is on the IU School of Medicine Indianapolis campus as a resource for informatics research.

Participants in the Masters in Public Health in Global Health program spend the first year completing Master’s in Public Health classwork and the second year at Moi University in Eldoret, Kenya. Due to the course workload, residents in this program are not be required to participate in lab work during the first year. The second year may require 6-9 credit hours to be completed online, but residents work with Dr. Connie Keung during the second year in pursuit of research in the realm of surgery and global health.

Surgical Education Research Fellowship

The Surgical Education Fellowship, led by the Department of Surgery vice chair of Education, Dr. Dimitrios Stefanidis. Participants in this fellowship program work closely with Dr. Stefanidis’ team of researchers in the areas of coaching, performance assessment and skill optimization, and fellows complete a Master’s Degree of Health Professions Education from the University of Illinois – Chicago.

Residents can also conduct research at off-campus sites, including the NIH or other appropriate research institutions with proper supervision as approved by the surgery department chair Dr. Gary Dunnington and program director Dr. Jennifer Choi. Planning for the research fellowship of interest should optimally occur early, during the PGY1 (internship) year.