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In addition to excellent clinical training, Yale offers unparalleled research opportunities. Whether your interests lie in the basic sciences or clinical research, your research experience at Yale can be tailored and provide you tremendous professional development during your dedicated research time.

The program is structured to include a two year professional development experience between clinical PGY-2 and PGY-3. Many will earn an additional degree during this time. In the past, residents have pursued MHS, MHS Med-Ed, MBA, MPH during their two year professional development experiences. Occasionally a trainee with a particularly focused area of interest may elect to pursue a doctoral degree.

As a department we want to ensure all residents have a research opportunity that meets their academic and career goals, and lays the foundations for Yale surgical residents to become influential thinkers and leaders in our field. The department works with each resident to develop and individualized plan for scholarship, travel, and salary support during their professional development years. Residents also are permitted to moonlight during the research years, provided it does not interfere with their primary assignments.

Resident Funding Opportunities

Residents in the professional development years can be fully supported without the need to obtain extramural funding
  • National Clinical Scholars Program (NCSP)
    • Yale University School of Medicine serves as one of four national sites (Yale, UCLA, University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan) of the National Clinician Scholars Program aims to offer unparalleled training for clinicians as change agents driving policy-relevant research and partnerships to improve health and healthcare. The goal of the program is to cultivate health equity, eliminate health disparities, invent new models of care, and achieve higher quality health care at lower cost by training nurse and physician researchers who work as leaders and collaborators embedded in communities, health care systems, government, foundations, and think tanks in the U.S. and around the world
      • Partnerships at Yale University NCSP include the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, Yale School of Nursing, Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH), YNHH-Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE), the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation, Columbus House, Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS), Project Access New Haven, and New Haven Family Alliance, among others
  • NIH
    • T32, available through several collaborations around the medical school campus
    • Career Development Award with Faculty Sponsor
    • Loan Repayment Program
  • Private grant funding
    • Dependent on the area of research

Clinical Outcomes Research


The Thoracic Surgery Clinical and Health Services Research Lab focuses on analysis of clinical and administrative databases to assess cancer care outcomes and patterns of care. Some of the databases used in the past by medical students and residents include the Yale Thoracic Surgery Database, National Cancer Database, SEER, SEER-Medicare, American College of Surgeons-NSQIP, and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons database. Throughout the experience, medical students and residents are part of a multidisciplinary team and participate in collaborations with other disciplines, allowing them to gain the skills to be effective partners in research. Furthermore, through close work with statisticians and epidemiologists, students and residents gain essential tools in biostatistics that they can use in their future careers. Prior experience in database research, statistics and coding is very helpful but also can be learned while in the lab. The Thoracic Surgery Research Lab has been a productive experience for a number of residents with recent publications in JAMA Oncology, JAMA Network Open, Annals of Surgery, Annals of Thoracic Surgery, Surgery, Lung Cancer, Journal of Clinical Oncology and Annals of Surgical Oncology, often with surgery residents as first author.

The Thoracic faculty research mentors include

  • Dr. Daniel Boffa
  • Dr. Frank Detterbeck
  • Dr. Justin Blasberg
  • Dr. Vincent Mase
  • Dr. Andrew Dhanasopon

Recent surgery residents in the lab have included Matthew Deluzio, Brian Arnold, Alexander Chiu, Benjamin Resio, and Michelle Salazar.

Transplant and Immunology

The Tietjen lab utilizes ex vivo normothermic perfusion as a platform to improve outcomes in clinical organ transplantation. We have two primary areas of emphasis that we are interested in having residents participate in:

  1. Marginal organ viability assessment and repair; and
  2. Site-specific organ immunosuppression without global immune impairment
Projects within these areas are designed to take advantage of residents’ surgical skills and give them opportunities for continued skill development. Additionally, there are opportunities to partner with postdoctoral and PhD trainees in biomedical engineering to help develop skills in team science and ensure projects move forward quickly. Emphasis is on rapidly transitioning our research ideas to publication to help our residents establish a trajectory towards becoming successful surgeon scientists.


In the Division of General Surgery, Trauma, and Surgical Critical Care, residents have spent their research years under the mentorship Robert D. Becher, MD MS. Dr. Becher’s main research focus is on the systems of care for non-trauma surgical emergencies, and how best to improve the quality and safety of general surgery operations performed non-electively, especially at the hospital-level. He has received multiple grants for this work, including a K-award and the AAST EGS Research Scholarship, and collaborates with researchers throughout Yale, including the Section of Geriatrics & the Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center, the Yale School of Public Health, and the Yale School of Forestry. Dr. Becher believes strongly that the research years are not only a time to publish, but very importantly are a time to develop research skills (statistical programming; knowledge of research methodologies; etc) and advanced training (such as enrolment in a MS or MPH or PhD program) that you will use throughout your academic career. As such, residents develop research ideas and areas of inquiry that are uniquely their own, and start to build a strong academic foundation. Resident research topics include gun violence & victims of violence, surgical health disparities, and machine learning for EGS and trauma.

Education Research

Surgical Education Lab

The “Surgical Education Lab” under Drs. Yoo, Oliveira, and Longo enables our residents to take a scholarly pedagogical approach to surgical education. One lab resident each year is sponsored to pursue their Master of Health Sciences degree in Medical Education. This rigorous 2-year program equips our residents with expertise in curriculum development, assessment techniques, and the skills to perform qualitative and quantitative evaluations of training initiatives. Other residents outside the Masters track are also encouraged to participate in scholarly projects in the field of education. Our lab members have worked on a variety of topics:

  • Residents as Educators curriculum
  • On-the-go formative feedback tools
  • Informed consent curriculum
  • Resident education on responsible opioid prescribing practices
  • Robotic surgery training program
  • Topics regarding the clinical learning environment