An Introduction to Surgical Research

An Introduction to Surgical Research

A good understanding of surgical research is an essential part of being a surgeon. Good quality research and the ability to apply it clinically is the cornerstone in evidence based practice. In training the surgeons of the future, compulsory research requirements have now been incorporated into every surgical training program. Not only that, research experience and output has become one of the differentiators in many job and training position applications.

Even if being an active researcher does not become part of your surgical career, a sound working knowledge of the ins and outs of research is essential. There is no better way to understand evidence based surgery than to be involved in a few research projects.

Despite these expectations on aspiring surgeons to participate in research, there has been a paucity of structured teaching in basic research knowledge and skills with a surgical focus. This seems to be true both at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. This Monash University short course has been developed to fill this void.

​This course aims to introduce you to a variety of study designs that are most relevant to surgical research. Through a series of hands-on workshops, you will also learn practical skills in conducting a surgical research project. We hope to deliver a course that is both interesting and challenging, thus provide a foundation for you to build on, all through a casual learning environment.

A short course designed for:

  • SET Trainees
  • Pre-SET Trainees
  • Interns & Residents
  • Medical Students
    (Year 3+ / BMedSc / Honours)
  • Early graduate research

Course overview:

  • Delivered over 3 weekends, to accommodate for the busy surgical week.
  • Workshops are hands-on with a focus on practical research skills.
  • Faculty are made up of academic surgeons.
  • Can be an aid to completing current projects.
  • Gives an insight into surgical research, and provides a foundation to build on.
  • Time efficient way to learn research skills, and complete an existing project at the same time.
  • Participants are required to familiarise themselves with pre-course and intra-course reading materials.

The course is a collection of workshops covering all aspects of surgical research – from concept to publication.

Day 1 (17th June 2017) – The Basics of Surgical Research
Study designs, hypothesis & literature review.

Day 2 (18th June 2017) – Statistics day 1
6-month STATA license included

Day 3 (29th July 2017) – Conducting the Study
Dealing with data, data analysis & study methodology.

Day 4 (30th July 2017) – Statistics day 2
6-month STATA license included

Day 5 (9th September 2017) – Presentation & Manuscript
Presenting at a meeting & writing for publication

Day 6 (10th September 2017) – Journal Submission & Beyond
The publication process & where to from here?

By the end of the course, the participants should:

  • have an understanding of the role of surgical research and the importance of evidence-based surgical practice.
  • be familiar with the common study designs.
  • be able to critically appraise and evaluate the surgical literature.
  • be familiar with the basic workflow of conducting a simple surgical research project.
  • have a good understanding of the statistical methods commonly used in surgical research.
  • feel confident in submitting a conference abstract to a meeting, and in giving an oral presentation in a scientific forum.
  • be able to write a complete manuscript for submission to a peer-reviewed journal.

Inclusions

  • Pre-course reading guide.
  • Course notes & folder.
  • STATA license (6-months).
  • Morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea.
  • Certificate.
  • Pearls of wisdom!

Royal Australasian College of Surgeons

This course is accredited with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons



Mr James Lee

James LeeJames is a general surgeon from the Monash University Endocrine Surgery Unit at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne. After completing surgical training, James undertook further subspecialty training in Endocrine Surgery both at Austin Health in Melbourne, and as the T.S. Reeve Fellow at Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney. Following the clinical fellowships, James undertook full time research work at the Kolling Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, culminating in the award his PhD by the University of Sydney. His PhD thesis made significant contributions to the current understanding of the role of tumour and circulating miRNA biomarkers, specifically, in the recurrence of papillary thyroid cancer.

At present, through his appointments as Senior Lecturer at Monash University, and as the Younger Fellows Representative on the RACS Section of Academic Surgery Committee, James continues to pursue his interests in academic surgery and surgical education alongside his clinical practice.

Professor Danny Liew

Danny LiewDanny is the Chair of Clinical Outcomes Research, Head of the Division of Clinical Epidemiology and Director of the Monash Centre of Cardiovascular Research and Education at the Monash University School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine. He is also a consultant physician at the Alfred Hospital in Clinical Pharmacology and General Medicine.

From 2010 to 2015, Danny was the Chair of Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Melbourne, Director of the Melbourne EpiCentre, and Head of Medical Unit 1 at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

Danny's research capacity and interests lie in epidemiology, clinical trials, health services research and health economics. His research profile is highlighted by over 170 peer-reviewed journal articles, 7 book chapters and over $40 million in NHMRC, ARC and CRC research funding. He is also passionate about teaching, and is involved in all levels from undergraduate courses to postdoctoral fellowships.

Professor Wendy Brown

Wendy Brown Professor Wendy Brown is the Chair of the Monash University Department of Surgery at the Alfred, Director of the Centre for Obesity Research and Education (CORE) and clinical lead of the Bariatric Surgery Registry. Her area of clinical expertise is upper gastrointestinal surgery. Her research focuses mainly on the health effects of weight loss and the function of the oesophagogastric junction.

She is a senior examiner for General Surgery at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, and has been in the Victorian State Ministerial Cancer Taskforce, Bariatric working party, and the Tasmanian Department of Health working party on Bariatric Surgery. In 2011 she was appointed a member of the Victorian Surgical Consultative Council. Wendy is a past president of OSSANZ, president elect of ANZGOSA and Chair of the IFSO scientific committee.

She has primarily supervised one PhD student and two BMedSci students to completion, and currently supervises two PhD students and one Master of Surgery student.

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Mr Sebastian King

Sebastian KingSebastian is a paediatric surgeon with a subspecialty interest in colorectal conditions. He completed his PhD in 2008 with The University of Melbourne at The Royal Children’s Hospital. His research focused upon the motility patterns of children affected by slow transit constipation. His PhD was supported by scholarships from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and the NHMRC.

Following completion of his paediatric surgical training at The Royal Children’s Hospital, he underwent further colorectal and neonatal surgical training at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, USA and The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada.

Sebastian’s clinical work focuses on children born with anorectal malformations or Hirschsprung disease, and those affected by chronic constipation or short bowel disease. His ongoing research is supported by his MCRI Career Development Award, and he is the current recipient of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Senior Lecturer Fellowship.

A/Prof Silvana Marasco

Silvana Marasco
Associate Professor Silvana Marasco is a cardiothoracic surgeon working at the Epworth and Alfred hospitals. She has been the Deputy Director of the Cardiothoracic Unit at The Alfred for the last eight years. Silvana performs over 300 heart and lung operations each year including heart transplants, lung transplants and the implantation of mechanical heart assist devices. She also is a busy researcher with over 100 peer reviewed publications and book chapters, and has completed a Master of Surgery, a Master of Bioethics and a PhD. Her research endeavours have attracted over $6M in funding to date.

Mr Brandyn Lau

Brandy LauBrandyn Lau is an Assistant Professor of Surgery and Health Sciences Informatics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Associate Faculty in the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality. He co-directs the Analytics Leadership in Patient Safety Program, a competitive nine-month training program focused on the science of data analysis, visualization, and use in clinical settings. His primary research interest is in the use of electronic health record data to improve care quality, patient safety, and clinical education. He has authored or co-authored more than 50 peer-reviewed publications, and has received more than $5 million in extramural research funding to study and enhance the use of health information technology in hospitals. He completed an MPH at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in epidemiology and biostatistics, and trained in clinical and public health informatics at the Johns Hopkins University.

A/Prof Jeremy Grummet

Jeremy GrummetMBBS, MS, FRACS

Australian Urology Associates, Alfred Health, Monash University

Jeremy completed his formal Urology training in Melbourne, obtaining his FRACS in 2007, then undertook a Uro-Oncology Fellowship at the Prostate Centre in Vancouver Canada in 2008.

He has published on the role of MRI in prostate cancer diagnosis and the lack of sepsis in transperineal prostate biopsy, his paper winning the 2015 BJUI Global Prize. He established the Victorian Transperineal Biopsy Collaboration (VTBC) in 2013 and the Epworth Healthcare MRI Prostate Multidisciplinary Meeting in 2014.

He is an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor at Monash University and a Consultant Urologist at Alfred Health. In 2014 he supervised a Bachelor of Medical Science student in research on TRUS biopsy sepsis.

Jeremy is also a member of Australian Urology Associates group private practice. In 2015-6 he supervised a Master of Surgery student on the role of MRI in prostate cancer diagnosis.

In 2017 he is supervising two more Master of Surgery students in deep learning (artificial intelligence) for MRI and PSMA PET in prostate cancer diagnosis.

Jeremy is married to an entrepreneur and is blessed with four wonderful daughters.

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Testimonials

Understanding research, let alone undertaking my own project, always seemed like a daunting task. I was uncertain where to begin and what techniques and methods I should be using. This engaging course covers practical measures that make the process of research easier to understand. A wide variety of topics, from study design to organising and analysing data, are succinctly summarised and delivered in in a relaxed, informal manner that encourages participation.

Through his course, Mr James Lee and his team have empowered me. I now have the tools and confidence to undertake my own project and succeed, and would highly recommend this course.

"Very well presented. I liked how the talk had a clinical focus. Concepts I previously found challenging were explained really well & clearly. Right amount of revision of basics & also good cover of new material which were also explained in terms of applying to a paper."

"Excellent speakers, enthusiastic sessions, well-tailored to specific needs within the group"

"Thoroughly enjoyed, found it extremely relevant and makes me look forward to commencing surgical research"

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Please note course fees are non refundable 72 hours prior to course commencement.