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Publication and research trends among neurological residents

Wright, Bryan
Claassen, Analise
Faulkner, Jantzen
Fladie, Ian
Johnson, Austin L.
Vassar, Matt

Research is a critical aspect of residency training, but many programs lack a robust research component in their curriculum. Research publications are one way that physicians can advance their career in academic medicine, and the number of publications is often used as a criterion for determining suitable fellowship applicants. In this study, we evaluate the relationship between publications during and after residency in the field of neurology as well as analyze the relationship between number of publications and characteristics such as gender and career path. We randomly selected 50 ACGME Neurology residency programs from across the United States and recorded the number of publications, h-index, gender, fellowship choice, and career path for each graduate between 2013-2015. Each publication was sorted into time frames before residency, during residency, and after residency. The study included a total of 379 neurology residents from 25 different residency programs. Residents who pursued academic medicine had a significantly higher mean total publications (M = 10.1, SD 16.4) than those who pursued private practice (M = 4.2, SD 9.0) (t377 =-4.5, p <0.000). The mean total publications for male residents (M = 8.6, SD 16.5) was significantly higher than female residents (M = 4.1, SD 5.6) (t377 =-3.6, p <0.0002). Pearson correlation also revealed a correlation between publications during residency and publications after residency, with a Pearson product moment correlation of 0.61. The positive correlation between number of publications during residency and publications after residency, demonstrates the importance of implementing strong research principles and practice in a residency's curriculum. We also report a higher number of mean total publications by those who pursued academic medicine than those who pursued private practice. In addition, the results show an underrepresentation of females in neurology research, indicating a need to encourage more females to engage in neurology research and possibly STEM fields in general at an earlier stage in their educational career.