Background: Health services research examines how people get access to health care, how much care costs, and what happens to patients as a result of this care. Some of the challenges to conducting methodologically rigorous health services research as a surgeon are support, training, funding, acquisition of data, and resources.
Materials and methods: A review of support, training, funding, data, and organizational resources useful for surgeons interested in health services research, with a focus on existing online resources relevant to surgical health services researchers.
Results: Opportunities for research collaboration and mentoring are available through the Association for Academic Surgery, Society of University Surgeons, American College of Surgeons and surgical specialty societies. Advanced training is essential to performing high-impact health services research and is available through private foundations such as the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars program, the American College of Surgeons Fellowship, government funded fellowships, and institution hosted fellowships. Funding sources for health services research exist through academic surgical societies, private sector, and government sources. A variety of data sources for health services research are available, with different limitations, strengths, and ease of accessibility. Organizational resources in health services research include AcademyHealth, the Health Services Research Projects in Progress database, and the National Library of Medicine's Health Services Research Resources.
Conclusions: The resources highlighted describe some of the opportunities available to surgeons pursuing health services research. It is valuable for surgeons to tap into the available resources and collaborate with existing expertise to facilitate methodologically rigorous surgical health services research.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.