There is a critical need for surgical oncologists trained in the research disciplines. The purpose of this program is to foster the development of such individuals. Trainees will be MD post-graduates in surgical residency programs who will be enrolled in a two-year fellowship.
The specific aims of the fellowship are to: 1) design, implement, analyze and report a research project; 2) obtain formal instruction on fundamental research methods; and 3) obtain instruction on fundamental cancer biology or health services research principles. A strength of this program involves the extensive breadth of cancer-related research laboratories and research programs available to the trainees within the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMCCC). The Cancer Center is ranked 7th nationally in terms of NCI grant support dollars. All the preceptors within this training program are members of the UMCCC. Another strength of this program includes the strong track record of the Department of Surgery in attracting academically oriented residents into general surgery and surgical subspecialty positions. Each trainee will be assigned to a mentor(s) to implement a research project during their fellowship. Instruction on fundamental cancer biology principles will be achieved by trainees attending a required course given by various faculty from the Department of Cancer Biology. Instruction on academic career development is also given through required courses given nationally and by the Department of Surgery. Formal instruction in the responsible conduct of research is required through several educational forums established by the University. This T32 training program has been in existence over five funding periods spanning 25 years. It is restricted to surgeons either involved in their residency training or having just completed it. It has been highly successful in meeting the objectives of preparing young surgeons for positions in academic departments. The training program currently supports 4 trainees each year. This proposal is a revised competitive renewal application to support 3 trainees per year. An External Advisory Committee has been added to the oversight of the program and is comprised of Directors of three other Surgical Oncology T32 programs. Dr. Alfred Chang who was the prior Program Director of the training program and Dr. Sandra Wong who was co-Director have been replaced by Weiping Zou, MD, PhD, the Charles B. de Nancrede Professor of Surgery, Immunology and Biology and Dr. Jacqueline Jeruss, Associate Professor of Surgical Oncology who will serve as Co- Directors of the program. During the past 25 years, this training program has enrolled 51 trainees and has been highly successful. Ten (20%) of the trainees have been individuals from underrepresented minority ethnic groups. Nineteen (37%) of the trainees have been females. Among the 37 trainees who have completed the T32 fellowship and their formal clinical training, 25 (68%) have gone on to academic positions.
This is an established training program to foster the development of academic surgical oncologists. This meets an important public need as the population ages and the number of cancer patients increases. The trainees of this program will become leaders in surgical oncology to enhance cancer research and cancer care.
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