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World Neurosurg. 2020 Jan 31. pii: S1878-8750(20)30191-1. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2020.01.173. [Epub ahead of print]

Pre-residency publication productivity of U.S. neurosurgery interns.

Author information

Department of Neurosurgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA; Medical Scientist Training Program, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA. Electronic address:
Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
Department of Neurosurgery, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA.
Department of Neurosurgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
Krieger School of Arts & Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.
University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.
Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai, New York, NY, USA.



Research experience is believed to be an important component of the neurosurgery residency application process. One measure of research productivity is publication volume. The pre-residency publication volume of US neurosurgery interns and any potential association between applicant publication volume and the match results of top ranked residency programs has not been well-characterized.


In this study, we sought to characterize the pre-residency publication volume of U.S. neurosurgery residents in the 2018-2019 intern class using the Scopus database.


For each intern, we recorded the total number of publications, total number of first or last author publications, total number of neuroscience-related publications, mean number of citations per publication, and mean impact factor of the journal per publication. Pre-residency publication volumes of interns at the top 25 programs (based on a composite ranking score according to four different ranking metrics) were compared to those at all other programs.


We found that 82% of neurosurgery interns included in the analysis (190 interns from 95 programs) had at least one publication. The average number of publications per intern among all programs was 6 ± 0.63 (mean ± SEM). We also found that interns at top-25 neurosurgery residency programs tended to have a higher number of publications (8.3 ± 1.2 vs 4.8 ± 0.7, P = 0.0137), number of neuroscience-related publications (6.8 ± 1.1 vs 4.1 ± 0.7, P = 0.0419), and mean number of citations per publication (9.8 ± 1.7 vs 5.7 ± 0.8, P = 0.0267) compared to interns at all other programs.


Our results provide a general estimate of the pre-residency publication volume of U.S. neurosurgery interns and suggest a potential association between publication volume and matching into top-25 neurosurgery residency programs.


Medical Education; Neurosurgery; Publications; Residency; Surgery


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