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Cureus. 2020 Feb 7;12(2):e6911. doi: 10.7759/cureus.6911.

Low Misrepresentation Rates of Scholarly Work in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Residency Applications.

Author information

1
Otolaryngology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, USA.
2
Otolaryngology, Indiana University School of Medicie, Indianapolis, USA.
3
Public Health, Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, Indianapolis, USA.

Abstract

Objectives To evaluate research trends, including rates of misrepresentation of scholarly work, in otolaryngology residency applications received by a single institution during the 2018-2019 residency application cycle. Methods After obtaining Institutional Review Board approval, all residency applications to the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN for the 2018-2019 cycle were de-identified and analyzed. Demographic and research information including the number of listed peer-reviewed articles/abstracts, types of research projects, and misrepresentations were retrospectively evaluated. Results Our institution received 321 applications, which represented 69.5% of the entire 2018-2019 otolaryngology applicant pool. The average United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 score was 246 ±12.4. There were 203 (62.2%) applicants who reported 591 published citations with 20 (6.2%) applicants misrepresenting 26 items (4.4%). Applicants who misrepresented research output had lower average Step 1 scores (237.4 vs 246.4, p: <0.05). Self-promotion to higher authorship status was the most common form of misrepresentation (61.5%). Conclusions The role of scholarly work in stratifying applicants continues to expand. Although a competitive application climate motivates a minority of applicants to misrepresent scholarly work, rates of misrepresentation in otolaryngology applications are low and continue to decline. The level of evidence assigned to this study is III.

KEYWORDS:

electronic residency applications; misrepresentation; research

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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