Clinical Scholarship Program

The Clinical Scholarship Program (CSP) pairs all first-year categorical general surgery residents with a faculty research mentor who guides the resident throughout the year as they acquire the skills to develop and implement a clinical research project. Residents are given one month of protected time during their first year in which to complete their project. The objectives of the CSP are to:

  • Provide residents with a robust foundation for scholarship early in their training
  • Offer residents targeted mentorship in a research topic area of interest
  • Enhance opportunities for residents to compete successfully for research fellowships and research funding

By providing this experience early in the training program, our goal is to facilitate residents’ interests in scholarship, research, and an academic career. Core learning objectives during the CSP experience include:

  • Understand the importance of scholarly activity
  • Increase knowledge of the basic elements of study design and clinical research methodology
  • Become familiar with institutional and national clinical databases
  • Learn how to apply basic statistical methods to analyze research data
  • Increase awareness of the ethical issues surrounding the conduct of clinical research
  • Better understand the requirements for the protection of human research participants
  • Learn the IRB application process and submission requirement
  • Disseminate research findings to the broader scientific community

The CSP is guided by a set of expectations for residents participating in the program. The CSP Director (Jim Rodrigue, PhD) and Residency Director (Tara Kent, MD) continuously monitor progress and problem-solve any barriers encountered by residents. Residents are expected to:

  • Meet with their faculty research mentor at least once per month
  • Attend the bi-weekly FIRST Seminars whenever possible
  • Present the final research project summary/results during a FIRST Seminar
  • Prepare and submit an abstract to the HMS Surgery Research Day
  • Prepare and submit an abstract to a regional and/or national meeting
  • Write and submit for publication a manuscript summarizing their completed project

Additionally, each spring we select three residents to present their project to the entire Department at Surgery Grand Rounds.

To learn more about the CSP Program, please refer to this peer-reviewed manuscript: Patel MS, Tomich D, Kent TS, Chaikof EL, Rodrigue JR. A program for promoting clinical scholarship in general surgery. J Surg Educ. 2018; 75:854-60.