It was a beautiful sunny morning (as most mornings are in San Diego, I assume) when 161 faculty and attendees gathered for the 28th Annual Fundamentals of Surgical Research Course at the University of California, San Diego Center for the Future of Surgery. One noticeable advantage of hosting the course in SoCal was apparent immediately, as both the registration and the breakfast spread were located outdoors. After avoiding a potential riot when the attendees were told that no food or drinks (read – COFFEE) were allowed in the conference halls, we all dutifully filed into the state-of-the-art facilities. Sareh Parangi kicked-off the FSRC by detailing her inspiration to become an academic surgeon and her journey to success. Our first session then focused on the various “Resources” needed for research, including talks by Melanie Morris on mentors, Ankush Gosain on time management, and research resident Zhi “I love the pancreas” Fong on funding. Next came our session on “Methods” of obtaining research success, with Amir Ghaferi – newly crowned SOC president – on hypothesis generation, Alex Haynes on biostats and biases, UW Chair of Surgery Rebecca Minter on success in education research and Joe Sakran on success in global surgery research.
After lunch on the patio, we had the “Marketing” session with Justin Dimick on writing for impact, Andrew Ibrahim on creating visual abstracts (!!!), Eugene Kim on giving research presentations, and Heather Yeo on using social media effectively. The breakout sessions that followed on basic/translational, clinical/health services, and education research, allowing for more granular discussions in each area.
We then gathered back together for one of the highlights of the day: a panel session including Drs. Rachel Kelz, Melina Kibbe, Tim Pawlik, and surgical fellow Nabeel Zafar. This was an engaging and personal session, with each panelist describing their own varied paths to success in academic surgery. We finished the didactic sessions with an inspirational talk by Dr. Christopher Ellison, who discussed how to develop a state-of-the-art mentorship program. The day then wrapped up with an informal networking session, again outside in the crisp evening air, as the sun set on a full day of learning tips and tricks from an expert field of surgeon-scientists.
Sounds fantastic, right? Well, don’t just take my word for it. Check out the rave reviews from attendees:
- “The course helped me explore and learn about various research paths, basic overview of methods to help me better implement/improve upon my research career.”
- “This is valuable in providing guidance as I navigate trying to become successful as an academic surgeon. It is extremely beneficial to learn from those who have preceded me.”
- “Provided a great foundation of how to start in the small picture of research projects as well as the big picture of a career.”
We also take your constructive criticisms to heart:
- “Millennials probably don’t need to be taught how to use a twitter handle” – anonymous
Ok, maybe we did that lecture for the faculty…So we hear you and we will continue to update and improve the course with your help, such as:
- More details, practical tips and actionable tools
- How to continue your work while transitioning back to clinical rotations
- Alternative academic paths (i.e. innovation
- The unspoken parts of training
- Less biostats
- Publishing pearls and pitfalls
If you missed out on this fantastic session, fear not! We will be running it back on October 20th, 2018 in Boston. Although the weather might be chillier next time, the sessions will just as informative and engaging. Please join us!
We would also like to sincerely thank the fantastic faculty that volunteered their time and wisdom to make this course such a success.