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Research Opportunities

At the Department of General Surgery at Carolinas Medical Center, research experience is an integral part of residency training. Optional participation in research enhances the residents’ ability to critically evaluate surgical problems and to incorporate this knowledge into surgical practice to improve patient outcomes. Further, a research portfolio is an important component in the pursuit of fellowship training. Residents who plan a career in academic surgery and fellowship training benefit greatly by participation in research.

Research Possibilities

One of the four categorical PGY-1 general surgery residents with demonstrated ability and interest in research will be given the opportunity for a one-year research fellowship. The research year will follow the PGY-2 year.  While one resident per class takes a year off for dedicated research time, all other residents have the option to participate in research in the basic science and clinical realms.  Additional research training is available to qualified residents at the discretion of the department chairman and residency program director. Attending faculty provide tremendous mentorship in this area.  Internal and external funding is also available for residents to perform research through grant applications.  In addition, the support of the General Surgery basic science research department with collaboration and mentorship from PhD scientists facilitates additional research opportunities in the translational sciences.

Potential Research Projects

Research opportunities encompass a wide spectrum of diseases from basic laboratory investigations to clinical trials. Since many faculty members in the department actively engage in scientific pursuits at the Cannon Research Center, potential project areas may include cancer biology, systemic inflammation from hemorrhagic shock and sepsis, the molecular basis of hernia formation and repairs, bioinformatics, and validation of simulation training. Our residents often present their original research at regional and national meetings. Potential research projects must be faculty sponsored and approved by the department chairman and program director. Residents are encouraged to participate in projects that are part of ongoing faculty research. Original meritorious ideas with faculty sponsorship may be considered. Funding is available for qualified projects.

The major focus of the research year is to gain an in-depth understanding on how to conduct scientific investigations on a specific problem or question, which may involve clinical and/or laboratory studies. In collaboration with the faculty advisor, the research resident is expected to provide regular updates on the progress of his/her project and participate in the critical evaluation of other projects.

During this research year, although clinical experience is not emphasized, the research resident is required to attend weekly basic science conference and morbidity and mortality conference. Attendance and participation may be required for other conferences at the discretion of the department chairman, program director, and faculty advisor. The research resident will occasionally participate in the general surgery call rotation. The call duty will not interfere with research responsibilities.

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