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Publication trends among internal medicine residents, fellows, and graduates and its relationship to future academic achievement

Fladie, Ian
Arthur, Wade
Hillman, Cody
Nowlin, Ross
Johnson, Austin
Vassar, Matt
Background: Medical research is essential for establishing evidence-based care and furthering clinical practice knowledge for the success of physicians. For example, research is considered a scholarly activity by the American College of Graduate Medical Education and is a requirement during residency (1). Furthermore, research is used as a tool to measure academic success given that it allows for a qualitative measure for residency and fellowship applications. Publication trends among internal medicine have previously been studied (2,3); however, our follow-up study also adjusts for gender when comparing research success and outcomes. Our primary objective is to assess the influence that research in medical school has on residency success by analyzing fellowship placement, h-index scores, and continued research success measured by publications.
Methods: Using Doximity residency navigator, we reviewed internal medicine graduates from 50 randomly sampled residency programs. From each included program, publicly available graduate records were obtained and included for identification of each graduate. After extracting our list of graduates, each graduate was searched on SCOPUS for degree, gender, fellowship pursued, h-index, academics pursued, and publications. Microsoft Excel and Stata 15.1 were used for all statistical analysis functions.
Results: Our initial search of internal medicine residency programs yielded 530 programs of which we randomly sampled 50 programs. Among the 50 programs, 328 graduates were identified and included in our analysis. Over half of our sample were males with the most common fellowship pursued being cardiology (Table 1). Graduates with first authorship publication prior to residency were more likely to pursue a fellowship or go into academic medicine (Table 2).
Conclusion: Our study found that graduates with primary author publication before residency were more likely to go into academic medicine or pursue a fellowship after internal medicine residency. Given that Internal medicine provides several options following residency, research provides a qualitative measure of academic performance and future success. Our study highlighted no difference among gender and future career success. These results are comparable to other studies (2,3). In conclusion, total publications, first author publication, and h-index scores independently indicate a significant positive correlation in pursuing a fellowship or academic medicine after residency.