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Proof of surgical publication prowess: prospective observational study of factors associated with surrogate markers of academic reach

Robinson, D. B. T., Powell, A. G. M. T. ORCID:, Hopkins, L., James, O. P., Abdelrahman, T., Egan, R. and Lewis, W. G. 2020. Proof of surgical publication prowess: prospective observational study of factors associated with surrogate markers of academic reach. BJS Open 4 (4) , pp. 724-729. 10.1002/bjs5.50307

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Background In the UK, general surgery higher surgical trainees (HSTs) must publish at least three peer-reviewed scientific articles (as first, second or corresponding author) to qualify for certification of completion of training (CCT). This study aimed to identify the factors associated with success in this arena. Methods Deanery rosters supplemented with data from the Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum Programme, PubMed and ResearchGate were used to identify the profiles of consecutive HSTs. Primary outcomes were publication numbers at defined points in higher training (speciality training year (ST) 3–8); secondary outcomes were the Hirsch index and ResearchGate scores. Results Fifty-nine consecutive HSTs (24 women, 35 men) were studied. The median publication number was 3 (range 0–30). At least three published articles were obtained by 30 HSTs (51 per cent), with 19 (38 per cent) of 50 HSTs achieving this by ST4 (of whom 15 (79 per cent) had undertaken out of programme for research (OOPR) time) and 24 (80 per cent) by ST6. Thirteen HSTs (22 per cent) (ST3, 6; ST4, 4; ST5, 2; ST8, 1) had yet to publish at the time of writing. OOPR was associated with achieving three publications (24 of 35 (69 per cent) versus 6 of 24 (25 per cent) with no formal research time; P = 0·001), higher overall number of publications (median 6 versus 1 respectively; P < 0·001), higher ResearchGate score (median 23·37 versus 5·27; P < 0·001) and higher Hirsch index (median 3 versus 1; P < 0·001). In multivariable analysis, training grade (odds ratio (OR) 1·89, 95 per cent c.i. 0·01 to 3·52; P = 0·045) and OOPR (OR 6·55, 2·04 to 21·04; P = 0·002) were associated with achieving three publications. Conclusion If CCT credentials are to include publication profiles, HST programmes should incorporate research training in workforce planning.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 2474-9842
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 14 May 2021
Date of Acceptance: 5 May 2020
Last Modified: 07 May 2023 07:17

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