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Surgery PSTP

The Physician-Scientist Training Program (PSTP) experience in the Department of Surgery is designed to facilitate the development of surgical residents into academic clinician-investigators. This pathway is designed for the MD or MD/PhD graduate who is interested in a career that combines academic surgery and investigation. This track is designed to allow the resident to complete American Board of Surgery requirements in general surgery while providing time for intense research under the tutelage of a faculty mentor or mentoring team.

current & past scholars learn about surgery research

Program Details

 Program Structure

Most residents join this program after their third clinical year.

During the research training period, the PSTP scholar is supported with supplemental funds to attend educational and career development courses and grant writing courses. In addition, the scholar is supported to attend select national scientific meetings at which they are presenting research data.

 Guidance & Support

Each PSTP scholar is linked with a mentor, who then serves as a sounding board for decisions involving program structure, choice of a research project, and long-term career development. The mentor is chosen during the first and second year of residency through a process that melds the scholar’s career and research interests with the mentor and funding considerations. Trainees may work with any research program at Northwestern University. 


Why Do Research?

As academic surgeons, we live in a multidisciplinary world. Technologies, scientific knowledge, and new perspectives are constantly developing and evolving. It is critical that we have the skills in experimental design, execution, evaluation, and translation to participate and lead in this fast-paced environment.

We hope that all PSTP scholars will emerge with the tools and training needed to engage in academic research at the highest levels. Areas of interest include basic science, translational, clinical/outcomes, and education research.

Contact Us

Karen J. Ho, MD

Karen J. Ho, MD

Interim Director of Resident Research
View Ho's faculty profile

Melanie Mkrdichian

Director of Research Operations

Samantha Cooperstein

Manager, Professional Affairs