Purpose: To determine the research productivity related to required research experiences during medical school.
Method: The authors studied the research productivity of the 998 graduates at Mayo Medical School who had participated in a required third-year medical school research experience (21, 18, or 17 weeks long) between 1976 and 2003. Outcomes were verified published research reports and abstracts, and presentations at scientific meetings. Research reports and abstracts related or unrelated to the required research were distinguished.
Results: Seventeen of the graduates were excluded when considering authorship of research reports (ambiguous data). Four hundred (41%) of the remaining 981 graduates published one or more research reports related to their required research experience, 176/998 (18%) published one or more abstracts related to their required research project, and 375/920 (41%) presented research findings at an extramural meeting at least once. Graduates who published a research report or abstract related to their required research or presented research at a scientific meeting published more research reports unrelated to their required research than did their peers who did not publish or present their required research (all P < .05). More graduates in the 21-week group were first authors (203/584; 35%) than were those in the 17/18-week group (60/336; 18%, P = .001), but other outcomes were similar for different durations (P ≥ .17).
Conclusions: Required medical school research experiences facilitate tangible research products and may promote subsequent research productivity. Shorter experiences seem to yield outcomes similar to longer experiences.