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J Clin Neurosci. 2010 Mar;17(3):287-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2009.07.098. Epub 2010 Jan 15.

Pre-residency peer-reviewed publications are associated with neurosurgery resident choice of academic compared to private practice careers.

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  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, University of Minnesota Medical School, University of Minnesota, 717 Delaware Street SE, Suite 166, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55414, USA. drwood@post.harvard.edu


Factors predictive of neurosurgery resident or applicant choice of an academic career compared to private practice are highly desired and difficult to discern. Neither medical school choice, student induction to faculty membership, age nor gender predict academic versus private practice choice among neurosurgery residents. This study was performed to examine the role of pre-residency peer-reviewed publications (PRP) in post-residency career choice. Over five years (2001-05) the number of PRP prior to onset of residency of 422 graduates from 79 neurosurgery residency programs certified by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education was retrospectively examined. The number of publications until the end of the calendar year prior to the start of residency was determined using PubMed (www.pubmed.org). This number was then correlated with the choice of an academic or private practice neurosurgery career. A minority of graduates (46.2%) chose academic neurosurgery careers, 32.2% of graduates had at least one PRP at the time of application to neurosurgery residency, with 16.4% having more than one. A total of 41.6% of graduates with no PRP chose academic careers, compared to 53.7% with one PRP, and 58.0% with more than one. With regard to choice of academic career, the difference between no PRP and at least one were statistically significant (p<0.01), but not between one PRP and more than one. Graduates with at least one PRP were 1.34 times more likely to choose an academic career than graduates with no PRP. Therefore, peer-reviewed PRP are strongly associated with resident choice of an academic over private practice neurosurgery career. This information might be useful in predicting the career choices of neurosurgery residents and residency applicants.

Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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