Formative research experiences in pediatric surgeons: a mixed methods study of Pediatric Trauma Society members

Cory McLaughlin, Erica Barin, Henri Ford, Jeffrey Upperman, Laura Cassidy, Rita V. Burke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: A career in pediatric surgery has historically required extensive research experience, but the optimal research training is not well defined. The purpose of this study was to explore the formative research experiences among pediatric surgeons. Methods: A 1-h focus group was held with 14 pediatric surgeons at the 2017 Pediatric Trauma Society annual meeting. A 17-item survey was also administered. Questions were intended to elicit discussion of prior research experiences. A qualitative analysis of the dialogue was performed. Results: Seventy-seven percent of respondents completed a research fellowship. Most (77%) currently conduct clinical research. Participants most frequently desired additional training in study design (50%), NIH funding (43%), and grant preparation (43%). Seven themes were identified from the focus group: (1) Early research exposure is rudimentary; (2) Resume-building was a motivation; (3) Mentorship is important; (4) Institutional resources are vital; (5) Independent learning is necessary; (6) Protected time is limited; and (7) Basic science research is not always practical. Conclusions: Many pediatric surgeons feel that their research training can be improved upon. Formal mentorship, dedicated research time, and institutional resources were perceived to be important factors. Education in research study design, grant writing, and NIH funding may be beneficial. Level of evidence: V, expert opinion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)495-499
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Surgery International
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 8 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Pediatric surgery
  • Research experience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery


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