In writing this, I hope to provide applicants with an understanding of current and future research within the department of surgery at West Virginia University. Our department is strong in clinical research with residents presenting clinical papers at local, regional, and national meetings yearly. As the department continues to grow, the work from a research standpoint will continue and be fruitful for those residents pursing academic careers or competitive fellowships. It is an exciting time to be a part of this transition.
As an applicant, I was looking for a training program that provided flexibility for laboratory or clinical research. The majority of our residents choose not to take time off for research with projects being completed during their residency training. I liked having the option for time off if I decided to pursue a more competitive fellowship. Dr. Cardinal, the program director and WVU provided me with exceptional support to take time out during my clinical experience after my PGY3 year.
I wanted a program which not only provided clinical opportunities, but also a strong foundation in fundamental research. I accepted a position at the University of Arkansas in the Pediatric Surgery department. This two year research experience will give me the resources for translational science projects, clinical research projects, grant writing, etc.
Hopefully, this can give those of you interested in research a better understanding of variety of options in research. I would encourage any resident regardless of previous research experience to look for opportunities during your surgical training. Feel free to contact me if you have any other questions.
In conclusion, I feel my lab year helped me grow as a clinician and a researcher, giving me skills in basic science research, scientific decision making and manuscript preparation that will serve me well in the years to come.