Focused on pursuing a career as a hand surgeon, Dr. Park considered both plastic surgery and orthopaedic pathways. “I was more excited about what orthopaedic surgery has to offer as a specialty as a whole,” he recalls.
As he discovered interests during nearly every rotation in his residency, Dr. Park found it difficult to settle on a specialty. He was fortunate, however, to have several early career mentors, so his interest in hand surgery did not falter, but expanded to include pediatric orthopaedics and sports medicine, particularly shoulder instability.
Dr. Park’s current research projects include resource utilization and treatment strategy in upper extremity trauma. “As I asked more questions and developed more ideas,” he recalls, “I realized that getting feedback from peers and mentors is invaluable.” Thus, when the chance to attend the Clinician Scholar Development Program (CSDP) arose, Dr. Park jumped at the opportunity to further his career as a clinician scholar.
For 10 years, the AAOS has partnered with the Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS) and the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) to host the annual CSDP. The program is geared toward individuals early in their careers—orthopaedic residents through junior faculty—who are looking for guidance in pursuing a research career in tandem with their clinical practice.
Dr. Park was one of the participants at the 2012 AAOS/OREF/ORS Clinician Scholar Development Program, held Oct. 7–9, 2012, in Rosemont, Ill. More than 100 applicants competed for the 29 coveted spaces in the program—16 sponsored by the AAOS and the additional 13 sponsored by 10 orthopaedic specialty societies. Dr. Park was sponsored by the American Association for Hand Surgery.
The 2012 CSDP covered topics such as the clinician scientist timeline, interacting with department chairs, collaborating with PhDs, navigating grants and securing funding, mentorship, and work-life balance.
Making a difference
Now in his final year of residency at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Park hopes his research will help orthopaedic surgeons deliver higher quality patient care. “Ultimately, nothing will be more rewarding than seeing patients benefit from my ideas and the products of my research endeavors,” he says.
Dr. Park will complete his hand surgery fellowship at Robert A. Chase Hand Center at Stanford Hospitals and Clinics next year. Someday he hopes to mentor other young surgeons with a passion for research.
“It was inspiring to meet like-minded residents and well-established mentors who already have accomplished so much,” Dr. Park says. “It was humbling, but at the same time, further motivated me to continue my research endeavors. I am forever grateful for the eye-opening experience at the CSDP.”
Carmen E. Quatman, MD, PhD, an orthopaedic resident at The Ohio State University, shares Dr. Park’s viewpoint. As an AAOS-sponsored participant, Dr. Quatman characterizes the 2012 CSDP as “an outstanding opportunity to learn how to succeed as a clinician scientist and balance the many pressures that come with trying to change clinical outcomes through research and clinical techniques.” She continues, “The experience was very inspiring and the opportunity to network with leading clinician scientists and future clinician scientists was invaluable.”
The CSDP and the RDC
The CSDP is a flagship program of the Academy’s Research Development Committee (RDC). The RDC is charged with developing pathways that facilitate careers for orthopaedic clinician scientists. The committee, along with OREF and ORS, provides a continuum of training and a variety of opportunities for current and future clinician scientists.
As the RDC progresses in its efforts, it aims to partner with others to develop a cadre of orthopaedic clinician scientists who will lead the research efforts to find new methodologies to treat and cure orthopaedic-related illnesses and injuries. The AAOS/OREF/ORS CSDP is a first step in the career path for clinician scientists.
Applications for the 2013 CSDP, which will be held Sept. 26–28, are available online through March 31. Interested applicants can learn more about the AAOS/OREF/ORS Clinician Scholar Development Program at www.aaos.org/csdp
Erin Lynn Ransford is the manager, research development, in the AAOS office of government relations.
Bringing Experience to Bear
The following clinician scientists served as CSDP Faculty Mentors for the 2012 program:
- Peter C. Amadio, MD, Mayo Clinic
- Michael T. Archdeacon, MD, University of Cincinnati
- Joan E. Bechtold, PhD, Orthopaedic Biomechanics Lab
- Mathias P.G. Bostrom, MD, Hospital for Special Surgery
- Kevin J. Bozic, MD, MBA, University of California, San Francisco
- Denis Clohisy, MD, University of Minnesota
- Thomas A. Einhorn, MD, Boston University Medical Center
- John H. Healey, MD, FACS, Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital
- Sundeep Khosla, MD, Mayo Clinic
- Francis Young-In Lee, MD, PhD (Chairman), Columbia University Medical Center
- James S. Panagis, MD, MPH, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
- Randy N. Rosier, MD, PhD, University of Rochester Medical Center
- Larry Suva, PhD, University of Arkansas Department of Orthopaedics
- Kristy L. Weber, MD, Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center
- Michael J. Yaszemski, MD, PhD, Mayo Clinic
In addition to the AAOS, the OREF, and the ORS, the following orthopaedic specialty societies partner to sponsor attendees at the CSDP:
- American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons
- American Association for Hand Surgery
- Arthroscopy Association of North America
- American Society for Surgery of the Hand
- The Hip Society
- Musculoskeletal Tumor Society
- Orthopaedic Trauma Association
- Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America
- Scoliosis Research Society