Objective: The aim of this study was to describe the rate and the types of resident physician peer-reviewed publications. Variables of interest include the type of publications, subject matter, external funding, study design, and quality of research by resident physicians published while in training.
Design: This is a retrospective cohort study of physicians who passed part II of the American Board of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation certification examination in 2007 and 2008 (N = 654).
Results: The percentage of resident physicians with at least one publication during the study period was 19.9% (2007 cohort) and 16.3% (2008 cohort). Case reports (31%) and review articles (21%) represented more than half of all publications. There was no statistical difference in the publication rates between the allopathic and osteopathic physicians and between the size and the type of residency program. The publications in the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (17.8%) and the Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (15.2%) accounted for more than 30% of published research. External funding was identified in 39% of the articles. Thirteen percent of the articles had no subsequent citations.
Conclusions: One in five resident physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians were identified as having peer-reviewed publications during residency. The typical resident physician publication was found to be a clinically focused case report or review article published in a rehabilitation-targeted journal. Existing resident research requirements and resident research programs may need to be reevaluated in light of these findings.