SomeFakeName

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I would like to keep a strong focus on research (bench and clinical) after I complete surgical residency and was wondering if it is possible to have a career where surgical research takes a precedence over the actual clinical practice of surgery. My ideal would be a set-up where approximately 70% of my time was allocated to pursuing research and 30% was spent in the OR and surgical consultation (+ any other clinical requirements). Basically speaking, a career where I'd be doing more research than operating. Is this feasible in today's medical world?
 

droliver

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It's getting very hard to be productive in the lab & clinically. Fewer people are doing it in academics as the financial crunch @ most research-based institutions is neccessiatating more revenue production.
 

surg

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That sort of career track is certainly possible in academics long term, but short term is fairly difficult. Protected time for research is hard to come by. Expect no more than 1 day/week initially from what I am told. As you get more successful at nailing down grants, you will be able to up your lab time (since some of your salary support will come from grants), but it would take several big grants to get you up to 70% in a University setting. The major exception might be the VA. Many VAs are fairly empty these days, and thus there is a lot of research time available, not necessarily "protected" but with the decrease in case load, all things are possible.

One final thought: an attending once told me that in academics you should expect to attempt to gross for your hospital anywhere from 3-5X your salary either through grants or clinical revenue. That keeps everyone happy (except maybe your spouse who may wonder why all that money gets to stay at the University!)
Don't know quite how accurate that figure is, but it rings true to me.
 
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njbmd

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Originally posted by SomeFakeName
I would like to keep a strong focus on research (bench and clinical) after I complete surgical residency and was wondering if it is possible to have a career where surgical research takes a precedence over the actual clinical practice of surgery. My ideal would be a set-up where approximately 70% of my time was allocated to pursuing research and 30% was spent in the OR and surgical consultation (+ any other clinical requirements). Basically speaking, a career where I'd be doing more research than operating. Is this feasible in today's medical world?
Hi there,
You may want to contact Craig Slingluff, M.D. who is the chairman of the Surgical Oncology Division at the University of Virginia. Dr. Slingluff does about 60/40 reseach/practice. He is the author of the Melanoma chapter in this edition of Sabiston's. He trained at Duke and is a very prolific researcher but he does take call for Surgery and Trauma at University Hosptal. He is about the closest to your specifications as anyone that I know. His e-mail is on the home page of the Surgery Department at UVA under his faculty photo.

Most surgeons love to operate which is why we are in this specialty. It takes a certain amount of OR work to keep your manual skills sharp. It might be fairly difficult to keep your skills sharp if you are doing bench research most of the time.

njbmd
 
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