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J Surg Educ. 2018 Jul - Aug;75(4):1039-1044. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2017.10.003. Epub 2017 Oct 26.

Can a Clinician-Scientist Training Program Develop Academic Orthopaedic Surgeons? One Program's Thirty-Year Experience.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, North Carolina.
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases, New York City, New York.
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases, New York City, New York. Electronic address:



Clinician-scientist numbers have been stagnant over the past few decades despite awareness of this trend. Interventions attempting to change this problem have been seemingly ineffective, but research residency positions have shown potential benefit.


We sought to evaluate the effectiveness of a clinician-scientist training program (CSTP) in an academic orthopedic residency in improving academic productivity and increasing interest in academic careers.


Resident training records were identified and reviewed for all residents who completed training between 1976 and 2014 (n = 329). There were no designated research residents prior to 1984 (pre-CSTP). Between 1984 and 2005, residents self-selected for the program (CSTP-SS). In 2005, residents were selected by program before residency (CSTP-PS). Residents were also grouped by program participation, research vs. clinical residents (RR vs. CR). Data were collected on academic positions and productivity through Internet-based and PubMed search, as well as direct e-mail or phone contact. Variables were then compared based on the time duration and designation.


Comparing all RR with CR, RR residents were more likely to enter academic practice after training (RR, 34%; CR, 20%; p = 0.0001) and were 4 times more productive based on median publications (RR, 14; CR, 4; p < 0.0001). Furthermore, 42% of RR are still active in research compared to 29% of CR (p = 0.04), but no statistical difference in postgraduate academic productivity identified.


The CSTP increased academic productivity during residency for the residents and the program. However, this program did not lead to a clear increase in academic productivity after residency and did not result in more trainees choosing a career as clinician-scientists.


Academic, Research Year; Clinician-Scientist; Interpersonal and Communication Skills; Medical Knowledge; Patient Care; Practice-Based Learning and Improvement; Professionalism; Publications, Orthopaedic Research; Systems-Based Practice

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