Wayne State University School of Medicine student Ranganath Kathawate was recently accepted to the American Journal of Surgery’s Student and Resident Scholar Committee, also known as the STARS Committee.
The committee is dedicated to establishing the community, resources and mentorship to make academic surgery accessible to students and residents, by cultivating diverse, equitable and inclusive surgeon leaders with a deep understanding of the research process, from design to dissemination.
“At our first meeting, a couple members brought up the reality that many would-be surgeons don’t end up applying for those residencies simply because there is little or no guidance available for them to better understand this niche,” Kathawate said.
Kathawate is a medical student in the Warrior M.D. Class of 2026. His journey to joining the committee began with his experience as a research assistant in a trauma surgery lab while attending the University of Michigan for his undergraduate education. The work made him seriously consider pursuing a career in the field of surgery.
“Specifically, the continuous encouragement I received from the group, as well as the academic opportunities I received, heavily steered me to surgery. I’m privileged to have had this mentorship and this is something I feel strongly about paying forward,” he said.
He also saw the committee as an opportunity to promote surgical education. Before beginning medical school, Kathawate taught high school biology at Bloomfield Hills International Academy, his alma mater.
“This was a distinctly transformative experience for me, especially as someone soon starting a new chapter in my own education. In front of classroom after classroom of students, I rapidly gained an appreciation for the difference between ‘knowing’ something and being able to distill and deliver that information into digestible nuggets, over and over again, until competency is established,” he said. “I hope to combine both of these experiences to contribute to advancing surgical education. Specific areas of interest the group is working on include contributing perspective articles to the affiliated journal, designing direct outreach programs, and social media-oriented engagement strategies. I’m excited to collaborate with this fantastic group and look forward to working with them.”