Recent reports show that there is a both a lack of clinical research training for medical students and a growing need of academic institutions for research-competent trainees. SIGMA a recently founded research network in Germany enables medical students to participate in high-quality clinical trials and benefit from broad training opportunities.
Clinical research is supposed to evaluate new and current practice in order to improve patient care. However, clinical research requires thorough qualification and training in the legal, ethical and design aspects of clinical trials in order to guarantee highest quality care, patient protection and scientific rigor.
The lack of future surgeons and clinical researchers makes clinical research in surgery challenging. To ensure continuing comprehensive clinical research in surgery, the authors of a perspective article published in Innovative Surgical Sciences aim to establish a student-driven research network in Germany, which is embedded in both national as well as international frameworks.
Raising the bar
SIGMA (Student-Initiated German Medical Audits) is a product of strong collaboration between clinical scientists and medical trainees, enabling students to contribute to high-quality clinical trials.
SIGMA is supported by the clinical trial network of the German Surgical Society CHIR-Net (www.chir-net.de). Additionally, participants are offered extensive training to support the next generation of research-active clinicians. Starting in 2018, SIGMA will perform its first multicenter study in Germany. The authors invite all interested students, residents and surgeons to participate in SIGMA trials (www.sigma.university).
SIGMA – the first of its kind
SIGMA will be the first student-driven clinical research network in Germany. Medical students will not only directly contribute to clinical research, but are also offered additional training and support to become the next generation of research-active surgeons.
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