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The Society of University Surgeons

Linda Graham, MD
Staff Surgeon
The Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland, OH
President, The Society of University Surgeons (1994-95)

The Society of University Surgeons (SUS) is a great society for any surgeon committed to academics. The meetings have a heavy emphasis on basic science research, but there are also presentations addressing education, socioeconomic issues, and outcomes research. The meetings provide the opportunity to expand acquaintances within academic surgery and engage in informal exchange of ideas at a variety of social functions. Information about the Society, abstract submission information, and membership information is found on the website.

Membership is open to academic surgeons in all fields and subspecialties of surgery. Membership is competitive because active membership under the age of 45 is limited to 250. The applicant must be under forty-five years of age, have completed a university residency training program in surgery, and have occupied a faculty position in a university department of surgery in the United States or Canada for at least eighteen months. Application for membership should be considered at about the time as promotion to Associate Professor because the “requirements” with respect to accomplishments are similar. The individual must have demonstrated success as a surgeon, teacher, and investigator as evidenced by peer-reviewed publications and grant support. Chances of selection to Society membership are greatly enhanced if the applicant has NIH funding such as a KO8 or RO1 grant. Submission of abstracts and presentation of a paper at an SUS meeting also improves the likelihood of a successful application. Membership in the SUS is worthwhile goal. The meetings are valuable from a scientific point of view, and the friendships formed at SUS meetings provide invaluable contacts throughout the academic surgical community. I highly recommend your joining this Society.

The SUS funds several research awards. A junior faculty grant is available for surgical faculty members in a tenure track position who are within three years of their first faculty appointment. The award is $20,000 for one year, potentially renewable for a second year. Information is available on the website. (Go to the members section and look under forms.) Applications are due in mid-August. The SUS also funds one or two resident research fellowships each year. Appropriate applicants are surgical residents who will be spending one or two years in full-time research in the laboratory of an SUS mentor. Again, information is available on the website. (Go to the members section and look under forms). Applications are due around August 1 each year.