Does Intentional Support of Degree Programs in General Surgery Residency Affect Research Productivity or Pursuit of Academic Surgery? A Multi-Institutional Study

Chelsea A. Isom, Erika Kristen Bisgaard, Kendrick M. Campbell, Cathleen Courtney, Caroline Erickson, David A. Faber, Paul G. Gauger, Jacob A. Greenberg, Al Faraaz Kassam, John T. Mullen, Amanda Phares, R. Cutler Quillin, Edgardo S. Salcedo, Andrew J. Schaffer, Denny Scaria, Christopher C. Stahl, Paul E. Wise, Rondi M. Kauffmann, Xi Chen, J. Joshua SmithKyla P. Terhune

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To determine whether pursuit of an advanced degree during dedicated research time (DRT) in a general surgery residency training program impacts a resident's research productivity. Design: A retrospective, multi-institutional cohort study. Setting: General surgery residency programs that were approved to graduate more than 5 categorical residents per year and that offered at least 1 year of DRT were contacted for participation in the study. A total of 10 general surgery residency programs agreed to participate in the study. Participants: Residents who started their residency between 2000 and 2012 and spent at least one full year in DRT (n = 511) were included. Those who completed an advanced degree were compared on the following parameters to those who did not complete one: total number of papers, first-author papers, the Journal Citation Reports impact factors of publication (2018, or most recent), and first position after residency or fellowship training. Results: During DRT, 87 (17%) residents obtained an advanced degree. The most common degree obtained was a Master of Public Health (MPH, n = 42 (48.8%)). Residents who did not obtain an advanced degree during DRT published fewer papers (median 8, [interquartile range 4-12]) than those who obtained a degree (9, [6-17]) (p = 0.002). They also published fewer first author papers (3, [2-6]) vs (5, [2-9]) (p = 0.002) than those who obtained a degree. Resident impact factor (RIF) was calculated using Journal Citation Reports impact factor and author position. Those who did not earn an advanced degree had a lower RIF (adjusted RIF, 84 ± 4 vs 134 ± 5, p < 0.001) compared to those who did. There was no association between obtaining a degree and pursuit of academic surgery (p = 0.13) Conclusions: Pursuit of an advanced degree during DRT is associated with increased research productivity but is not associated with pursuit of an academic career.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e34-e38
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Volume77
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020

Keywords

  • Research in residency
  • Residency training
  • Surgical education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education

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