Tamara Gimon

October 2020

  • Residency Program: University of Calgary
  • Supervisors: Dr. Anthony MacLean, Dr. Don Buie,

When did you become interested in Research?
I first become interested in research when I started my undergraduate degree. When I applied to Western University for my undergrad, I was also accepted to a program called Scholar’s Elective. Beginning in my first year of university this program paired me with a research mentor who introduced me to the process of scientific inquiry. I was encouraged to come up with my own research questions and learned how to design and carry out my own scientific studies while also learning from and helping out graduate students in the same lab group. Not only did this experience give me an early taste and desire to do research, but it is also the experience that made me decide to pursue medicine as a career! I feel very fortunate that I was able to have such wonderful role models and mentors so early in my career.

How has research influenced your career goals?
During residency I met my clinical and career mentors while performing research. After residency I will be attending the University of Toronto for a fellowship in colorectal surgery. In my future career, in addition to enjoying the clinical aspects of colorectal surgery, I look forward to being involved with research and hope to help advance knowledge and improve how we care for patients with IBD and colorectal cancer.

What is one piece of advice you would share to other residents interested in research?
One piece of advice I would give to other residents is to be prepared to persevere when things get tough. I guess the other piece of related advice I would give is to make sure to be involved in research you are interested in—this makes it easier to persevere when things get tough. Being involved with research is not a linear path. You will come up with a question, change and tweak it several times before you decide on something that is worth studying and feasible to investigate. Throughout the process of ethics submission, recruitment, data abstraction, data analyses, paper writing and submission you will be rejected and forced to start again several times. Quality research takes time and you will often fail a few times before you reach your desired goal so you should be prepared for the long road—but, wow is it rewarding!

What are the challenges of conducting research during residency?
Time. Finding time outside of clinical duties to be involved in research can be difficult. Furthermore, many parts of the scientific process take time—time to decide on a question, write and submit ethics, carry out your methodology and analyze your data, then finally write and submit your paper, or publish and present at a scientific meeting. This is not something that will take you days or weeks, but often will take months if not years. All of a sudden 5 years of residency seems short.

What do you enjoy doing outside of residency/research? 
I love spending time with my family and friends. I am a new mother to a 4 month old little girl and my favourite part of the day is coming home to her hugs and giggles, and spending the evening with my husband.

Any advice for approaching a potential research mentor?
Try to brainstorm some ideas or topics you are interested in. It is always easier for a mentor to help you if they have an idea of what you are interested in and know what goals you want to achieve. This does not mean you need to have a perfect research plan by your first meeting but rather it means setting small goals such as picking a topic of interest to study and identifying a conference to submit work to and attend.

Most memorable moment in research?
In 2020 I had a paper published in Diseases of the Colon and Rectum (DCR). I have been interested in colorectal surgery since junior residency and have been receiving the DCR journal by mail to my house every month for the past few years. It was a pretty cool moment to flip through the journal one month and see my name and published article printed there!

Selected Publications
Gimon, T.I., Dykstra, M.A., Ksenia, C., Buie, W.D., MacLean, A.R. Malignant Colorectal Polyp Pathology: Are We Getting Sufficient Information to Make Decisions?. Dis Colon Rectum, [DOI:10.1097/DCR.0000000000001538], February 2020.

Rochon, R.M., Gimon, T.I, Buie, W.D., Brar, M.S., Dixon, E., MacLean, A.R. Expedited discharge in uncomplicated acute appendicitis: Decreasing the length of stay while maintaining quality. Am J Surg, [DOI: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2019.03.007 ], March 2019.

Gimon, T.I., Almosallam, O., Lopushinsky, S., Eccles, R., Brindle, M., Yanchar, N. Optimizing Post-Operative Follow-up in Pediatric Surgery (OFIPS). J Pediatr Surg, [DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2019.01.045], February 2019.

Seemann, N. M., Gimon, T.I., Mutabdzic, D., LeBlanc, V. R., Moulton, C-A.E. Capturing the Complexity of Acute Stress in the Health Professions: A Review of Methods for Measuring Stress and Considerations for Moving Forward. Academic Medicine, [DOI:10.1097/ACM.0000000000001376], 2016.

Usselman, C.W., Nielson, C.A., Luchyshyn, T.A., Gimon, T.I., Coverdate, N.S., Van Uum, S.H., Shoemaker, J.K. Hormone phase influences sympathetic responses to high levels of lower body negative pressure in young healthy women. Am J Phsiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol, [DOI:10.1152/ajpregu.00190.2016], 2016.

Usselman, C.W., Gimon, T.I., Nielson, C.A., Luchyshyn, T.A., Coverdale, N.S., van Uum, S.H.M., & Shoemaker, J.K. Menstrual cycle and sex effects on sympathetic responses to acute chemoreflex stress. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, [DOI: 10.1152/ajpheart.00345.2014], 2015.

Usselman, C.W., Luchyshyn, T. A., Gimon, T.I., Nielson, C.A., van Uum, S.H.M., & Shoemaker, J.K. Hormone phase dependency of neural responses to chemoreflex-driven sympathoexcitation in young women using hormonal contraceptives. J Appl Physiol, JAPPL [DOI: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00681.2013], 2013.