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How to make an impact in surgical research: a consensus summary from the #SoMe4Surgery community


Understanding and interpreting medical literature through critical thinking and applying this knowledge to evidence-based practice is an integral part of surgical training. Participating in research accelerates this process; however, young doctors’ involvement in research may be suboptimal. Our aim was to provide young surgeons with recommendations on how to properly engage in surgical research. An online twitter conversation focused on recommendations about how a young physician can succeed in research was undertaken. Twitter activity for that conversation and hashtags was analyzed. A consensus based on the recommendations extracted from the discussion is summarized. Key opinion leaders were engaged to promote the conversation. Discussion was opened to all participants related to surgery or surgical research, including surgeons, medical students, nurses, patients, and healthcare workers. A total of 244 participants engaged in the Twitter conversation. The highest tweeted hashtags were #SoMe4Surgery and #SurgicalResearch with 855 and 847 tweets, respectively. Themes that came out of the conversation included ‘Mentorship’, which was the most essential recommendation. ‘International collaboratives’ and ‘foreign research fellowship’ were also deemed important factors for a successful path in research. Additionally, routine read of online journals, use of social media for scientific purposes, often engagement in manuscript drafting and proper time management were also recommended. Research is demanding and time consuming but an essential part of surgical education. We believe that any young surgeon can have greater chances to succeed in surgical research by following our recommendations and by academically using social media platforms.

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We would like to thank all the participants of the #SoMe4Surgery and #SurgicalResearch online conversation on Twitter and the main organizers of the Tweetchat: Julio Mayol, Argyrios Ioannidis and Stephanie Hild.


The authors declare they have no relevant financial interests.

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AI and JM conceived the idea of the manuscript. All authors participated in the online conversations and contributed to the structure of the survey. All authors have participated in the drafting process of the manuscript

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Correspondence to Argyrios Ioannidis.

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Ethical approval was not required for this study as it did not include any patient data.

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No procedures were conducted by the authors on patients, there was no need of informed consent. This review was in agreement with the Good Clinical Practice.

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Ioannidis, A., Blanco-Colino, R., Chand, M. et al. How to make an impact in surgical research: a consensus summary from the #SoMe4Surgery community. Updates Surg 72, 1229–1235 (2020).

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  • Surgical research
  • Medical students
  • Young surgeons
  • Trainee