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J Surg Educ. 2009 May-Jun;66(3):146-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2009.03.002.

Resident research forums stimulate novel research within general surgical training programs.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Virginia Health Systems, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908, USA.



Our surgery residency includes an annual Resident Research Day (RRD) for presentation of resident research. We hypothesized that RRD stimulates the development of novel research. We evaluated this among our residents and at other institutions.


An electronic survey was distributed to current and alumni residents at our institution. The survey questions addressed residents' perceptions of RRD and were graded on a 5-point Likert scale. Another electronic survey was distributed to Program Directors (PDs) or Associate Program Directors (APDs) for all U.S. general surgery residencies. Questions assessed type of RRD and impact on research productivity. Microsoft Excel (Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, Washington) and MedCalc (MedCalc Software, Inc, Mariakerke, Belgium) software were used for analyses.


The response rate was 76% (47/62) among residents and alumni. These 47 respondents submitted 98 projects to RRD, which included retrospective clinical studies (53%), basic science (35%), medical education research (6%), and prospective clinical papers (6%). Twenty projects (20%) were created expressly for RRD, of which 7 were presented at outside scientific meetings and 8 were published in peer-reviewed journals. The response rate was 47% among PD/APD (88/188). Most programs have an RRD or similar forum (78%) without difference between university and community programs (p = 0.78). Higher rates of resident submission were associated with dedicated research time for most residents (p = 0.01). Required submission was associated with novel projects created for RRD (p < 0.001). Thirty-seven percent of programs reported greater than 25% of submitted projects were created for RRD.


RRD and similar forums occur at most general surgery training programs. They stimulate research activity and satisfy most residents' expectations. RRD leads to completion of novel research projects that are presented both internally and in peer-reviewed form.

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