The Surgical Undergraduate Research Fluency Plus (SURF+) Program is a 10-hour per week summer research commitment designated for undergraduate university students with an interest in pursuing a career in the healthcare field. The goal of this internship is to provide biomedical and clinical research training for future professionals that will lead to improvements in health care outcomes.
The SURF+ students are paired with a mentor and introduced to many of the complexities of research, including the management of academic research, clinical trials and the federal regulations, policies, and ethical concerns pertaining to the treatment of human subjects.
Projects differ from year to year, and duties assigned to the students are dependent on the student’s specific project and level of research fluency. In the past, responsibilities have primarily included data collection, data entry, data analysis, and research paper drafting under the direction of a Valleywise Health mentor.
Mentors at Valleywise Health are eager to teach the SURF+ students, enabling them to get the most of their experience here. The Department of Surgery at Valleywise Health oversees many ongoing research initiatives and includes the Arizona Burn Center and the Trauma Center. In previous years, the program has successfully expanded beyond the Department of Surgery to include projects within other departments.
In addition to research, SURF+ students are given the unique opportunity to supplement their research projects with professional development by:
- Observing surgeries
- Shadowing residents and surgeons on trauma call
- Attending lectures
By gaining this first-hand exposure, students are engaged in multiple activities that are designed to enhance their knowledge of various fields of medicine and research. Students demonstrate this knowledge at the end of the summer with a presentation on the progress they have made on their individual projects. In the past, student’s findings have even resulted in research publications. This phenomenal experience prepares students to competitively pursue a career as a physician, physician’s assistant, public health worker, or other health care professional.
To get a better idea of some of the previous student’s specific research projects and read testimonials from past students about how the program has aided them in their career development, download the document below.