Reflection: The Early Career Surgeon-Scientist's Pathway to Independence

Stephanie Shintani Smith*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The surgeon-scientist offers a unique perspective as one who can arguably best comprehend clinical needs, identify areas ripe for research, and translate discoveries from bench to bedside. However, the long transition from postdoc to independent investigator can prove to be quite challenging. Surgeons have long been described as having results-oriented personalities, and so the long road to independence can be fraught with frustration at times. It requires humility in seeking scientific direction and mentorship, institutional support, and ultimately extramural funding. This reflection piece examines some hallmark steps along the pathway to independence for one otolaryngology-head and neck surgeon-scientist in her early academic career.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-8
Number of pages2
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • early career
  • reflection piece
  • surgeon-scientist

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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