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J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2013 Apr 3;95(7):e45. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.J.00516.

What is the relationship between number of publications during orthopaedic residency and selection of an academic career?

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, 3400 Spruce Street, 2 Silverstein Building, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.



Although many residents partake in academic pursuits, including the publication of clinical studies, laboratory research, case reports, and review articles, it is uncertain whether such experiences are associated with a career-long interest in an academic orthopaedic career.


This single-institution study was conducted with use of data from an urban academic university-based residency program. An academic career was defined as attainment of a teaching title signifying inclusion in, or affiliation with, a teaching department. Additionally, an academic career was subclassified as either full academic or semi-academic on the basis of employment characteristics. A PubMed search was conducted for publications by all 130 orthopaedic surgery residents who began their training in our residency program during the 1987-1988 through 2003-2004 academic years. An analysis was performed to determine whether the number or type of publications during residency or demographic variables were associated with selection of an academic career on completion of training.


The mean total number of publications during residency was greater for individuals who chose an academic career (4.8) than for those who chose a nonacademic career (2.4). When the year of residency graduation was considered, a greater number of publications during residency correlated with a more recent year of graduation in residents who selected an academic position. There were no differences with regard to sex, possession of advanced degrees, or completion of an additional research year between individuals who selected an academic compared with a nonacademic career.


Graduates of our orthopaedic residency program who pursued an academic career were likely to have published more articles during residency compared with their nonacademic peers.

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