Research and Community Service

residency program.


The Department of Surgery has an active research program, and participation in studies is required. Our residents, fellows, and faculty frequently present research at national and international conferences, including the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, Southwestern Surgical Congress, American Burn Association, Western Trauma Association, Society for Critical Care Medicine, and the American College of Surgeons.

Our department conducts a wide variety of research including both retrospective and prospective studies, and also participates in multi-center studies and funded trials. Research topics include trauma, critical care, general surgery, surgical oncology, vascular surgery, and violence intervention and prevention.

Rachel Dirks, PhD

Clinical Research Specialist, Trauma Program
UCSF Fresno Center for Medical Education and Research

Recent Publications

  • Davis JW, Dirks RC, Sue LP, Kaups KK. Attempting to validate the over/under triage matrix at a Level I trauma center. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. In press.
  • Bilello JF, Sharp V, Dirks RC, Davis JW, Kaups KL. After the embo: predicting non-hemorrhagic indications for splenectomy after angioembolization in blunt trauma patients. Trauma Surg Acute Care Open. In press.
  • Koo J, Tamura D. Fidget spinner battery-LED unit ingestion in a 13-month-old boy. Clinical Pediatrics. In Press.
  • Davis J, Dirks R, Kaups K, Tran P. Base Deficit is superior to lactate in trauma. Am J Surg. In press.
  • Siada SS, Davis JW, Kaups KL, Dirks RC, Grannis KA. Current outcomes of blunt open pelvic fractures: how modern advances in trauma care may decrease overall mortality. Trauma Surg Acute Care Open. 2017. 2:1-4.
  • Davis JW, Dirks RC, Sue LP, Kaups KK. Attempting to validate the over/under triage matrix at a Level I trauma center. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2017 Dec 83(6):1173-78.
  • Siada SS, Schaetzel SS, Chen AK, Hoang HD, Wilder FG, Dirks RC, Kaups KL, Davis JW. Day versus night laparoscopic cholecystectomy: a comparison of outcomes and cost. Am J Surg. December 2017. 214(6):1024-1027.
  • Zamary K, Davis J, Ament E, Garry J, Dirks R. This too shall pass: a study of ingested sharp foreign bodies. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. January 2017. 82(1):150-55.
  • Hubbard JL, Dirks RC, Veneman WL, Davis JW. Novel method of delivery of continuous positive airway pressure for apnea testing during brain death evaluation. Trauma Surg Acute Care Open. December 2016.
  • Kwok AM, Davis JW, Dirks RC, Wolfe MM, Kaups KL. The time is now: venous thromboembolism prophylaxis in blunt splenic injury. Am J Surg. December 2016. 212(6):1231-36.
  • Schaetzel S, Dirks R, Davis J. Comparison of outcomes of patients with acute appendicitis between an acute care surgery model and traditional call coverage model in the same community. Am J Surg. December 2016. 212(6):1083-89.
  • Lilienstein J, Davis JW, Bilello JF, Dirks RC. Risk factors associated with post extubation stridor in the trauma intensive care unit. Am J Surg. September 2016. 212(3)379-83.
  • Hubbard JL, Veneman WL, Dirks RC, Davis JW, Kaups KL. Use of endotracheal tubes with subglottic secretion drainage reduces ventilator-associated pneumonia in trauma patients. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. February 2016. 80(2):218-22.
  • Kohlbrenner A, Dirks R, Davis J, Wolfe M, Maser C. Of duty hour violations and shift work: changing the educational paradigm. Am J Surg. October 2015. 211(6):1164-8.
  • Schaetzel SM, Willey GJ, Davis JW. Atlanto-Axial dislocation with bilateral vertebral artery transection. Jac J of Emerg Med. August 2015. 2(2):009.
  • Hafertepen SC, Davis JW, Townsend RN, Sue LP, Kaups KL, Cagle KM. Myths and misinformation about gunshot wounds may adversely affect proper treatment. World J Surg. July 2015. 39(7):1840-7.
  • O’Banion LA, Van Buren D, Davis JW. Radiocephalic fistulas for hemodialysis: a comparison of techniques. Am Surg. April 2015. 81(4):241-4.
  • Hubbard JL, Cagle K, Davis JW, Kaups KL, Kodama M. Criteria for excision of suspected fibroadenomas of the breast. American Journal of Surgery. February 2015. 209(2):297-301.
  • Gonser-Hafertepen LN, Davis JW, Bilello JF, Ballow SL, Sue LP, Cagle KM, Venugopal C, Hafertepen SC, Kaups KL. Isolated free fluid on abdominal computed tomography in blunt trauma: watch and wait or operate? J Am Coll Surg. October 2014. 219(4):599-605.
  • Dinan KA, Davis JW, Wolfe MM, Sue LB, Cagle KM. An acute care surgery fellowship benefits a general surgical residency. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. August 2014. 77(2):209-12.
  • Mills EE, Birnbaum PL, Davis JW. Asymptomatic gunshot wound to the heart with retained intracardiac pellet. Ann Thorac Surg. January 2014. 97(1):3:15-16.
  • Kwok AM, Davis JW, Cagle KM, Sue LP, Kaups KL. Post-extubation dysphagia in trauma patients: it’s hard to swallow. Am J Surg. December 2013. 206(6):924-7.
  • Bilello JF, Davis JW, Cagle KM, Kaups KL. Predicting extubation failure in blunt trauma patients with pulmonary contusion. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. August 2013. 75(2):229-33.
  • Ballow SL, Kaups KL, Anderson S, Chang M. A Standardized Rapid Sequence Intubation Protocol Facilitates Airway Management in Critically Injured Patients. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. December 2012. 73(6):1401-05.
  • Jackson LM, Davis JW, Kaups KL, Sue LP, Wolfe MM, Bilello JF, Lemaster D. Percutaneous Tracheostomy: To Bronch or Not to Bronch – That Is the Question. J Trauma. December 2011. 71(6):1553-1556.
  • Bilello JF, Birnbaum PL, Venugopal C, Fong LL. Endovascular Repair of Blunt Aortic Injury in a Patient with Situs Inversus and Dextrocardia. Journal of Vascular Surgery. September 2011. 54(3):857-59.
  • Bilello J, McCray V, Davis J, Jackson L, Danos LA. Acute Ethanol Intoxication and the Trauma Patient: Hemodynamic Pitfalls. World J Surg, July 2011. 35:2149-53.
  • Bilello JF, Davis JW, Lemaster D, Townsend RN, Parks SN, Sue LP, Kaups KL, Groom T Eghbalieh B. Prehospital Hypotension in Blunt Trauma: Identifying the “Crump Factor.” J Trauma. May 2011. 70(5):1038-1042.
  • Parks NA, Davis JW, Forman D, Lemaster D. Observation for Nonoperative Management of Blunt Liver Injuries: How Long Is Long Enough? J Trauma. March 2011. 70(3):626-629.
  • Eckroth-Bernard K & Davis JW: Management of Pelvic Fractures. Curr Opin Crit Care. December 2010. 16:582-586.



  • Recent community service projects have included topics such as:
  • Distracted driving
  • Child/infant car seats and restraints
  • Violence intervention
  • Concussion education
  • Pedestrian/bicycle safety
  • Fall prevention
  • Substance abuse education
  • Water safety
  • “Stop the Bleed” campaign
  • Geriatric trauma
  • Trauma Survivors outreach


For more information about trauma and research, please visit the Trauma Research Foundation of Fresno website: