Update on Halsted ResidentsDate: November 28, 2012
During medical school at Johns Hopkins, Claude Beaty Jr. was excited to hear that there were opportunities for three students to work in the well-established lab of cardiac surgeon William Baumgartner. Beaty had shadowed a pediatric cardiac surgeon at Texas Children’s Hospital during college and was still highly interested in cardiac surgery.
Unfortunately, by the time he found out about the program, he was no longer eligible to apply. Undeterred, he used elective time to make connections with Baumgartner, Duke Cameron and others in the Division of Cardiac Surgery. He also decided that if he stayed here for residency, he wanted another chance to work in Baumgartner’s lab.
Beaty got his opportunity last year, selected as the only surgical resident from his class for a two-year research stint. Now in his second year, Beaty has been helping with a number of ongoing projects, including an NIH-funded study to examine neurologic deficits created by cardiac arrest in a canine model and try to develop new therapies to prevent brain injury. He also has been assisting Ashish Shah in his studies of human “reconditioned” lungs, organs not potentially suited for transplantation until after they have been treated with drug agents. In addition, he’s been conducting larger outcomes studies using databases from the United Network for Organ Sharing and International Society for Heart & Lung Transplantation.
One of his studies, submitted for publication, found in a review of the UNOS database that most cancer patients who underwent heart or lung transplants from 2000 to 2011 had survival rates similar to those of transplant recipients who did not have cancer, and therefore should not be excluded from transplantation.
“It’s been quite rewarding,” says Beaty. “As a general surgery resident, you don’t get much exposure to cardiac surgery.”
The experience has helped Beaty generate several published papers and showed him that, although difficult, it is possible to be a full-time surgeon and conduct basic research in his “off-time…if there is such a thing.”