Associations between resident physicians' publications and clinical performance during residency training

Luke A. Seaburg, Amy T. Wang, Colin P. West, Darcy A. Reed, Andrew J. Halvorsen, Gregory Engstler, Amy S. Oxentenko, Thomas J. Beckman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Background: Both research and clinical medicine requires similar attributes of efficiency, diligence and effective teamwork. Furthermore, residents must succeed at scholarship and patient care to be competitive for fellowship training. It is unknown whether research productivity among residents is related to broad measures of clinical achievement. Our goal was to examine associations between the quantity of internal medicine residents' publications and validated measures of their knowledge, skills and multi-source evaluations of performance. Methods: This was a longitudinal study of 308 residents graduating from Mayo Clinic from 2006 to 2012. We identified peer-reviewed articles in Ovid MEDLINE between July of each resident's match year and the end of their graduation. Outcomes included American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) certification examination scores, mini clinical examination (mini-CEX) scores, and validated assessments of clinical performance by resident-peers, faculty and non-physicians. Performance assessments were averaged to form an overall score ranging from 1 to 5. Associations between quantity of resident publications - and ABIM, mini-CEX and performance assessment scores - were determined using multivariate linear regression. Results: The residents published 642 papers, of which 443 (69.0 %) were research papers, 198 (30.8 %) were case reports, and 380 (59.2 %) were first-authored. On adjusted analysis, multi-source clinical performance evaluations were significantly associated (beta; 99 % CI; p-value) with the numbers of research articles (0.012; 0.001-0.024; 0.007), and overall publications (0.012; 0.002-0.022; 0.002). Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate that scholarly productivity based on journal publication is associated with clinical performance during residency training. Our findings suggest that residents who invest substantial efforts in research are not compromised in their abilities to learn medicine and care for patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number22
JournalBMC medical education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 19 2016


  • Clinical performance
  • Graduate medical education
  • Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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