A decline in the number of physician scientists in the United States, including a marked decrease in surgical scientists, correlates with the NIH's concern regarding the lack of well-trained individuals with the capacity to translate research from bench to bedside. It has been demonstrated that the integration of a two- year research experience into general surgery residency increases the likelihood that surgeons will pursue academic careers, and utilizing this model, the University of Wisconsin (UW) Surgical Oncology Research Training Program has supported 29 trainees in a mentored research and training experience. To date, 12 of those trainees have completed their research and clinical training and 10 of the 12 (>80%) have obtained academic positions at leading medical institutions in the United States. The remaining trainees who have completed the research portion of their training are completing their clinical training as residents or fellows and we anticipate all or virtually al of them will pursue academic careers in fields related to surgical oncology following completion of their training. Trainees have demonstrated tremendous productivity as evidenced by publications, national presentations and awards. Therefore, this application requests continued funding for an additional five years for this successful program. The specific objectives of this program are: 1) through a two-year postdoctoral research training experience for selected surgical residents, provide training in the conduct of basic, translational, health services and clinical surgical oncology hypothesis-based research through participation in an individual and tailored didactic and mentoring program utilizing the extensive resources of the UW Department of Surgery, UW Carbone Cancer Center (UWCCC), the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, the Wisconsin Surgical Outcomes Research Program (WiSOR) and the UW School of Medicine and Public Health's Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, 2) integrate surgical oncology research into a general surgery residency program and equip each trainee with appropriate supplemental didactic experiences in basic, translational, health services and clinical research, 3) develop physician-scientists and academic leaders in the field of surgery with an emphasis on surgical oncology, 4) expand the pool of surgeon-scientists with comprehensive training in health services research. The application includes a pool of experienced, extramurally funded trainers from a variety of surgical oncology-related disciplines including surgery, oncology, population health, and biomedical engineering; and incorporates effective assessment processes, a plan to promote diversity by recruiting and retaining both women and minorities, and a comprehensive plan for training in the responsible conduct of research. UW offers an excellent environment for the continued success of the program.
A decline in the number of physician scientists will impact our Nation's capacity to translate research from bench to bedside. It has been demonstrated that the integration of a two-year research experience into general surgery residency increases the likelihood that surgeons will pursue academic careers, and utilizing this model, the University of Wisconsin (UW) Surgical Oncology Research Training Program is training the future surgeons to pursue academic surgery careers with a focus on research.
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