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Does Dedicated Research Time During Residency Predict Resident Academic Productivity and a Future Academic Career?
Ginikanwa Onyekaba, Jaclyn T. Mauch, Carlos Barrero, Joe Mellia, Fortunay Diatta, Elizabeth Card, John P. Fischer
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Objective: While there is a known association between attendance at a highly-ranked plastic surgery training program and increased academic productivity of residents, there has not yet been a study that explores the influence of dedicated research time during residency on academic productivity. The aim of this study is to assess the effect of dedicated research time on the academic productivity of residents and the likelihood of pursuing an academic career.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study that examined bibliometric indices of plastic surgery residency graduates from 2010 to 2020. Bibliometric index information was collected from Scopus. Academic productivity was determined by the number of peer-reviewed publications and H-index one year after residency graduation. Result:s were analyzed using descriptive statistics, chi-squared test, t-test, and logistic regression.
Results: Data on plastic surgery residency graduates who attended integrated plastic surgery programs was analyzed (n=563 from 46 programs). The mean number of publications and H-index per research track graduate was 26.1 and 8.23, respectively. The mean number of publications and H-index per non-research track graduate was 15.9 and 5.97, respectively. After controlling for residency Doximity program ranking through multilinear regression analysis, we found that pursuing dedicated research time was an independent predictor of increased H-index, publication output, and likelihood of pursuing an academic career.
Conclusions: Participating in dedicated research time during residency increases the academic productivity and the likelihood of pursuing an academic career and, irrespective of the residency programís reputation. Given these findings, the data suggests that offering research years can help to support the mission of fostering academic opportunities within plastic surgery.


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