Baylor Research Education Program in Neurosurgery Abstract The Baylor Neurosurgery Residency has been in place for over 60 years, and has long been one of the nation?s largest and most well respected neurosurgical training programs. The program has always had a strong academic tradition, and graduates have served as faculty at many leading medical schools, but historically there was a decidedly clinical emphasis. A decade ago, a strategic decision was made to focus on research and research education by capitalizing on the extraordinary scientific resources at Baylor College of Medicine and affiliated institutions in the Texas Medical Center. The residency was retooled to substantially enhance its ability to train the next generation of academic neurosurgeons. In addition to developing a culture that emphasizes evidence-based practice, clinical and basic research, and didactic training in basic neuroscience underlying neurosurgical practice, the program was expanded by a full year in order to provide residents with a deeper and more meaningful academic experience, and the program implemented the Baylor Research Education Program in Neurosurgery funded by an NINDS R25 grant. The Baylor R25 Program empowers an elite subset of trainees in the Baylor Neurosurgery Residency Program to develop into academicians who effectively combine clinical neurosurgery practice with research that advances the field. We select outstanding individual neurosurgery residents who have the background, talent, and motivation to become successful physician-scientists, and then carefully integrate additional specialized research education into their residency training. The R25 program mentors these residents through the entire research process, from project conception to experimental design, data analysis and interpretation, to publication of results, and finally to the development of an effective plan for beginning a career as a physician-scientist, with mentorship extending beyond residency. While the early results of the program reveal clear success in producing neurosurgeon-scientists, the structure and curriculum of the R25 program has been continually revised and enhanced based on ongoing analysis of evaluations from participants and mentors, and an improved iteration of the program has been developed for this renewal application. The hallmark of this program is a research block during the 5th and 6th years of the residency, which has been expanded to 18-months. During this block, the trainee engages in a mentored research project on a near full-time basis. This hands-on approach is the most effective way to prepare young neurosurgeon-scientists for a productive research career by allowing them to conduct research independently, but with enough support to avoid the common pitfalls experienced by young researchers. In addition to carrying out a research project, residents selected for the research education program will be trained in experimental design, scientific writing, oral presentation, and in the responsible conduct of research. Furthermore, they will receive considerable oversight and career counseling from a team of experts mentors with the intent of paving their way to success in obtaining a mentored career development award and becoming a productive physician-scientist.
Baylor Research Education Program in Neurosurgery Narrative The primary goal of this research education program is to provide neurosurgery residents with the opportunity to complete a cohesive, significant research project during their residency training. The program will mentor residents through the entire research process, from project conception to experimental design, data analysis and interpretation, to publication of results and finally to transitioning to a junior faculty position. This hands-on approach is the most effective way to prepare the next generation of young clinician scientists for a productive research career in neurosurgery.
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