Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2023 Oct 16;11(10):e5358. doi: 10.1097/GOX.0000000000005358. eCollection 2023 Oct.
BACKGROUND: Research is a valued component of applications to plastic surgery residency. No prior studies have explored factors associated with increased resident research productivity. This study aims to compare the academic productivity levels of plastic surgery residency graduates based on their pre- and postresidency experiences.
METHODS: Residents graduating in 2019 and 2020 were identified from integrated programs. Metrics collected included the number of publications in medical school and residency. Descriptive statistics were completed along with linear regressions to evaluate the impact of these on academic productivity.
RESULTS: A total of 221 residents from the classes of 2019 and 2020 were included. Most residents completed fellowship (75.9%) although less than half went on to academic practice (42.3%). Approximately one in five residents obtained secondary degrees (17.4%). Subjects averaged 3.15 (N = 208, SD = 4.51) publications while in medical school and 8.1 publications during residency (N = 209, SD = 10.0). For h-index calculated at the end of residency, having dedicated medical school research time was the only statistically significant factor (coefficient = 2.96, P = 0.002).
CONCLUSIONS: Plastic surgery residents published more often as first authors and overall during residency than medical school, indicating increased research involvement and leadership. The present study builds upon prior studies by confirming the importance of dedicated medical school research time and its lasting impact. Understanding the associations of academic factors with increased research productivity in residency is relevant for both applicants and programs evaluating residency candidates.