In the past 5 to 10 years, it seems that there has been a dramatic shift in emphasis by young academic surgical faculty members and trainees from participating in laboratory and translational research to epidemiological and outcomes research. This increased emphasis on outcomes research will undoubtedly result in an increased standard of care and more critical review of our results. It will also enable us to scientifically describe our results with the proper amount of statistical rigor that we sometimes lack. Perhaps most importantly, it will inform the proper design of clinical trials that test competing treatment options. There is, however, still a need for the surgeon-scientist who both cares for surgical patients and participates in a laboratory or translational research program. To many, a laboratory or translational research program does not seem compatible with a surgical practice. However, if properly set up by the chair and the young faculty member, it can be a very rewarding experience.
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