A decline in the number of physician scientists in the United States, including a marked decrease in surgical scientists, correlates with the NIH Roadmap's concern about the lack of well-trained individuals with the capacity to translate research from bench to bedside. Mentors and early research training experiences are understood to influence career choices and likelihood of pursuing medical careers in research;therefore, there is much value in providing formal research training opportunities to medical students to encourage pursuit of careers in research. In response to this need, the University of Wisconsin (UW) Surgery Summer Research Experience for Medical Students has trained 136 medical students in surgical- related research projects, 24 pursuing NIDDK related research supported by this training grant, with documented success in increasing interest in both research and academic surgery careers. The program provides medical students with a focused, 8-12 week, mentored research and training experience that guides students towards a career pathway which integrates biomedical research, with a secondary goal of encouraging students to in the field of academic surgery. The program fosters the development of knowledge, competence, skills, professional attitudes, and experience required to understand what is involved in successful academic laboratory or clinically-based research. It encourages medical students to seriously consider pursuing a research career in the areas of research important to NIDDK and the UW Department of Surgery by offering focused 8-12 week summer research experiences in basic science and clinical research programs, which result in a completed research project and formal research presentations. The program utilizes the extensive resources of the UW Department of Surgery and the UW School of Medicine and Public Health to offer a comprehensive training experience that includes supplemental didactic conferences on topics including design and conduct of research, effective communication of scientific knowledge, scientific writing, funding opportunities, career development, and responsible conduct of research. By partnering medical students with successful physician scientists who will serve as research role models, we aim to increase the future pool of physician scientists. The training program includes assessments to evaluate the quality of specific program elements as well as short-term and long-term success in encouraging students to pursue careers in research and academic surgery.

Public Health Relevance

A decline in the number of physician scientists will impact our Nation's capacity to translate research from bench to bedside. Mentors and early research training experiences are understood to influence career choices and likelihood of pursuing medical careers in research. The University of Wisconsin Surgery Summer Research Experience for Medical Students provides mentored summer research opportunities as a mechanism to encourage medical students to pursue careers that integrate research with clinical care.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
NRSA Short -Term Research Training (T35)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Digestive Diseases and Nutrition C Subcommittee (DDK)
Program Officer
Podskalny, Judith M,
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Wisconsin Madison
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Perez, Alberto A; Schneider, David F; Long, Kristin L et al. (2018) Timely Evaluation and Management of Primary Hyperparathyroidism in Patients With Kidney Stones. J Surg Res 232:564-569
Golden, Sean; Yu, Xiao-Min; Odorico, Scott et al. (2017) The Epstein-Barr virus EBNA2 protein induces a subset of NOTCH target genes in thyroid cancer cell lines but fails to suppress proliferation. Surgery 161:195-201
Harl, Felicity N R; Saucke, Megan C; Greenberg, Caprice C et al. (2017) Assessing written communication during interhospital transfers of emergency general surgery patients. J Surg Res 214:86-92
Fernandes-Taylor, Sara; Gunter, Rebecca L; Bennett, Kyla M et al. (2017) Feasibility of Implementing a Patient-Centered Postoperative Wound Monitoring Program Using Smartphone Images: A Pilot Protocol. JMIR Res Protoc 6:e26
Vegel, Andrew J; Shah, Neil; Lidor, Anne O et al. (2017) Patient-reported quality of life after bariatric surgery: a single institution analysis. J Surg Res 218:117-123
Julliard, Walker; Fechner, John H; Owens, Leah et al. (2017) Modeling the Effect of the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor on Transplant Immunity. Transplant Direct 3:e157
Lowell, Andrew J; Bushman, Norah M; Wang, Xing et al. (2017) Assessing the risk of hypercalcemic crisis in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism. J Surg Res 217:252-257
Price, Amanda K; Randle, Reese W; Schneider, David F et al. (2017) Papillary thyroid microcarcinoma: decision-making, extent of surgery, and outcomes. J Surg Res 218:237-245
Jang, Samuel; Yu, Xiao-Min; Montemayor-Garcia, Celina et al. (2017) Dysadherin specific drug conjugates for the treatment of thyroid cancers with aggressive phenotypes. Oncotarget 8:24457-24468
O'Connell-Long, Bridget R; Ray, Rebecca D; Nathwani, Jay N et al. (2016) Errors in bladder catheterization: are residents ready for complex scenarios? J Surg Res 206:27-31

Showing the most recent 10 out of 69 publications