Tuesday, 8 November 2016

An Introduction to Surgical Research

The inaugural Monash University, Central Clinical School short course “An Introduction to Surgical Research” was held between June and September this year. The course was designed to equip participants with the foundation knowledge and practical skills required to conduct clinical studies on surgery related topics. This year’s course was attended by 12 budding surgeons who have an interest in surgical research. The cohort comprised of surgical registrars, residents and medical students. The course was held over 3 weekends, 6 weeks apart. The intervals between instalments of the course allowed the participants time to assimilate the knowledge, apply their newly learned skills to their current projects, and complete pre-course reading and tasks.

The course was predominantly run by academic surgeons James Lee (Endocrine Surgeon at The Alfred) and Sebastian King (Paediatric Surgeon at Royal Children’s Hospital). Prof Danny Liew (Chair of Clinical Outcomes Research at DEPM and Consultant Physician at The Alfred) ran the statistics days, while Prof Wendy Brown (Chair of CCS Department of Surgery and Upper GI Surgeon at The Alfred), Prof Jonathan Serpell (Director of General Surgery at The Alfred) and Assistant Prof Brandyn Lau (Health Sciences Informatics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine) brought additional dimensions to the course in guest speaker roles.

Throughout the course, the participants were presented with hands-on, practical, and interactive sessions on a wide spectrum of surgical research skills – from generating structured research questions, gathering and analysing data, to disseminating research findings via conference presentations and journal publications. With the knowledge and skills they gained from this course, many of the participants have gone on to start research projects, while others have found new techniques and confidence to propel their current studies.

The course feedback was overwhelmingly positive. In particular, one participant commented, “Really practical, real world examples. Great course, will recommend.” Another participant remarked “Excellent speakers, enthusiastic sessions, well-tailored to specific needs within the group.” Finally, from a participant who is about to start a research year, “Thoroughly enjoyed, found it extremely relevant and makes me look forward to commencing surgical research.”  Dr Marlie Stowe was the winner of the brief presentation competition (pictured above).

As the convenor of the course, James would like to thank all the faculty members and participants for their enthusiasm and efforts.
Further details of the course is available at www.tinyurl.com/teachmeresearch  The course will be conducted again in 2017.
Enquiries can also be directed to James at: James.Lee@monash.edu

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