How to prepare for academic leadership: scientific training curriculum

Isabelle Opitz, Thorsten Walles


Thoracic surgery has evolved into an independent discipline out of general surgery practice over the past decades. The development of the field of thoracic surgery was generated from surgeons being motivated to move this field forward by constant analysis and critical appraisal and review of current practice, as well as identification of new research approaches as the pool and generator of innovation. For this purpose, scientific skills are needed that are currently not covered during the surgical training. In the present overview, we will try to summarize important factors for an academic career, although none of these recommendations are validated and also not realistic to be uniquely applied to every geographical setting. Several key factors will be described being necessary for pursuing basic science, translational, and clinical research as a surgeon scientist introducing “from bench to bedside” research ideas into clinic and “from bedside to bench” bringing important clinical problems back to the lab.