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Research Year(s)

IU Department of Surgery has a tremendous commitment to research in areas of clinical & translational sciences, global health, and surgical education. Research allows us to identify solutions to clinical problems and bring evidence-based approaches to the bedside that benefit our patients.

Typically, residents have the opportunity to participate in a research fellowship after their 2nd (usually) or 3rd clinical year of residency. This research experience is optional.  For those who commit to research within the Department of Surgery at Indiana University, a minimum of two years is required and completion of an advanced degree is expected (at no cost to the trainee).  Advanced degrees include:

  • Master's Degree - Clinical Science
  • Master's Degree - Translational Science
  • Master's of Public Health - Global Health Fellowship
  • Master's Degree of Health Professions Education - Surgical Education Fellowship

While not mandatory for residents, research fellowship opportunities are required by both the ACGME-Residency Review Committee for Surgery and the American Board of Surgery.

Currently there are numerous active research laboratories in the Department of Surgery that coincide with the Masters Degrees in Clinical and Translational Science. These include laboratories in Gastrointestinal Surgery, Hepatopancreaticobiliary Surgery, Minimally Invasive Surgery, Breast Surgery, Pediatric Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Surgical Oncology, Transplantation, Cardiac Surgery, and Vascular Surgery. Alternative opportunities on campus may also exist where resident research fellows may work and thrive in basic science laboratories. Research opportunities also exist beyond the bench and involve prospective and retrospective clinical research, clinical trials, and outcomes/informatics research. The Regenstrief Institute, arguably the world's most advanced informatics institute, is on campus as a resource for informatics research.

The MPH in Global Health is a new opportunity that will start in the fall of 2017.  Those that pursue this pathway will spend the first year completing MPH classwork and the second year at Moi University in Eldoret, Kenya.  Due to the course workload, the resident will not be required to participate in lab work during the first year.  The second year may require 6-9 credit hours to be completed online, but the goal of the second year will be working with our on-site faculty member, Dr. Connie Keung in pursuit of research in the realm of surgery and global health.  This advanced degree will be at no cost to the trainee.

The Surgical Education Fellowship is also a new opportunity, led by our Vice Chair of Education, Dr. Dimitrios Stefanidis.  This fellowship will work closely with his team of researchers in the areas of coaching, performance assessment, and skill optimization, and will complete a Master's Degree of Health Professions Education from the University of Illinois - Chicago.  This advanced degree will be at no cost to the trainee.

Research may also be conducted at off-campus sites including the NIH or other appropriate research institutions with proper supervision as approved by our chair Dr. Gary Dunnington and our program director Dr. Jennifer Choi. Planning for the research fellowship of your interest should optimally occur early, during the PGY1 (internship) year. 

The Vice Chair of Research, Dr. Leonidas Koniaris is available to help with any questions about research fellowship opportunities and assistance in tailoring these experiences to the individual resident's experience, current interests and future ambitions.

IU is a state-of-the art research campus. The breadth of research includes in vitro, in vivo bench research, translational research, as well as clinical trials. Excellent core facilities (proteomics, microarray, animal CT, PET, MRI imaging, molecular imaging, knock-out/transgenic animal, pathology, immunohistochemistry, vector, etc) are accessible to laboratories on campus to facilitate this research. The Department of Surgery currently has premium laboratory space in Medical Science Building, and the new Research 3 Building. Additional research space for the Department of Surgery exists in the Medical Research and Library Building (IB) which contains two large animate operating rooms dedicated to the Department of Surgery and houses the Department of Surgery Center for Advanced Surgical Technology.

The research residents are exceedingly productive during their research years. They have been recipients of multiple awards and honors. The Department of Surgery is understandably very proud of the resident's achievements in research, and thus, their research is showcased in multiple forums on campus including the Surgical Research Forum, JK Berman Program, Grand Rounds, and Visiting Faculty Programs throughout the academic calendar year. In addition, the Department of Surgery fully supports presentation of their work at regional and national meetings, and publication of their work in quality, peer-reviewed journals. Research during surgical residency at IU is an exceedingly great opportunity. We would encourage you to take full advantage of this and immerse yourself in this experience.

Department of Surgery | 545 Barnhill Drive, Emerson Hall 203, Indianapolis, In 46202 | Phone: (317) 274-5771