Is Dedicated Research Time during Surgery Residency Associated with Surgeons' Future Career Paths? A National Study

Dorothy A. Andriole, Mary E. Klingensmith, Ryan C. Fields, Donna B. Jeffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Objective:We examined associations between participation in ≥1 year of research during general surgery residency and each of full-time academic-medicine faculty appointment and mentored-K and/or Research Project Grant (RPG, including R01 and other) awards.Summary Background Data:Many surgeons participate in ≥1 year of research during residency; however, the relationship between such dedicated research during general surgery residency and surgeons' career paths has not been investigated in a national study.Methods:We analyzed deidentified data through August 2014 from the Association of American Medical Colleges, American Board of Medical Specialties, and the National Institutes of Health Information for Management, Planning, Analysis, and Coordination II grants database for 1997 to 2004 US medical-school graduates who completed ≥5 years of general surgery graduate medical education (GME) and became board-certified surgeons. Using multivariable logistic regression models, we identified independent predictors of faculty appointment and K/RPG award, reporting adjusted odds ratios (AOR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) significant at P < 0.05.Results:Of 5328 board-certified surgeons, there were 1848 (34.7%) GME-research participants, 1658 (31.1%) faculty appointees, and 58 (1.1%) K/RPG awardees. Controlling for sex, debt, MD/PhD graduation, and other variables, GME-research participants were more likely to have received faculty appointments (AOR 1.790; 95% CI 1.573-2.037) and federal K/RPG awards (AOR 4.596; 95% CI 2.355-8.969).Conclusions:Nationally, general surgery GME-research participation was independently associated with faculty appointment and K/RPG award receipt. These findings serve as benchmarks for general surgery residency programs aiming to prepare trainees for careers as academicians and surgeon-scientists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)590-597
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • academic medicine
  • academic surgery workforce
  • graduate medical education
  • research
  • surgeon scientist workforce
  • surgeon-scientists
  • surgeons career paths
  • surgery residency


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