Background: Abstracts presented at meetings may be a reflection of the meeting's quality. Summary: The goal is to determine purpose, content areas, research design, and subsequent publication rates of abstracts presented at Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine's annual meetings. Abstracts presented in 1995-2005 were analyzed. A total of 201 abstracts were analyzed and coded. The purpose of the majority of the studies was description (155, 77%), 44 (22%) were justification studies, and 2 (1%) were clarification studies. In all, 109 (54%) assessed the relationship between teaching and student performance. Seven (4%) were studies about how students learn, study, solve problems, obtain medical knowledge, and think critically. Nineteen (10%) were studies about students' noncognitive skills, professionalism, interpersonal skills, and well-being studies. In all, 29 (14%) were measurement studies assessing reliability or validity of assessments. Twenty (10%) focused on career or faculty development pertaining to either faculty or residents. Research design of most studies was descriptive or pre-experimental (175, 87%), some were quasi-experimental (13, 7%), and two thirds (135, 66%) were not published as full articles in peer-reviewed journals. and there was an upward trend in publication rates. Conclusions: These findings may serve as an indicator of the quality of the educational meeting. It may further stimulate efforts to develop programs to help program attendees achieve scholarly publications for work presented and serve as a benchmark against which future meetings may be judged.
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