The University of Alberta's Department of Surgery is a world leader in research and education - its education innovation includes being the first in North America to offer an M.Sc in surgical education, and it is ranked sixth globally for transplantation research. It offers graduate students the opportunity to work with some of the best surgeons and scientists who come from across the globe to work here in state-of-the-art multidisciplinary facilities and institutes.
Graduate students/residents are an integral part of the academic research program and are considered ‘junior colleagues in research’. The success of the academic department’s research relies heavily on the work students are involved in.
The program typically consists of approximately 15-20 basic science graduate students and 10-15 residents per year for an enrollment of up to 45 students in the program. The diverse nature of the expertise and infrastructure is a strength that allows for cross-fertilization and collaboration.
For the Department of Surgery to be a truly academic department it is essential that the training of graduate students (basic science and surgical residents) is based on a foundation of an active research program. Many basic science graduates go on to complete advanced degrees (PhD, MD) or postdoctoral fellowships across North America. Many clinical residents are often awarded prestigious fellowships based not only on their clinical abilities but also on their academic involvement, whether at the Masters or PhD level.
The interaction between basic science students and clinical residents provides an excellent foundation with unique perspectives to address the basic mechanisms of a clinically-relevant problem. These relationships are fundamental to the success of the graduate program and surgical research.