Ophthalmology-residency selection committees require robust metrics to review applicants. Participation in research activities is a core component of the application process for its perceived association with future academic productivity.
To evaluate the correlation between the number of preresidency peer-reviewed publications (PPPs) and subsequent peer-reviewed publications or career choices of ophthalmology residency graduates.
In this cross-sectional study, names of ophthalmology residency graduates were obtained. PubMed-indexed publication records were generated and publications were categorized as preresidency, intraresidency, and postresidency. First author and journal publications with an impact factor (IF) score of 3 or more were recorded. Current academic and community-based career statuses were designated. Names were obtained from cohort and alumni lists on residency program websites or by emailing program directors. Participants included US Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-accredited ophthalmology residency graduates from 2013 to 2016.
The primary outcome measure was association of PPPs with later publications, first authorship, and journal publications with an IF score of 3 or more. The secondary outcome measure was difference in characteristics associated with academic vs community-based ophthalmologist.
A total of 964 ophthalmologists (52% of graduates) were studied and most (85.5%) had PubMed-indexed publications. First authorship (ρ = 0.71; 95% CI, 0.67-0.74; P < .001) had a strong positive correlation with intraresidency publications, while journal publications with an IF score of 3 or more (ρ = 0.56; 95% CI, 0.51-0.60; P < .001) and PPPs (ρ = 0.38; 95% CI, 0.32-0.43; P < .001) had moderate and weak positive correlations, respectively. For postresidency publications, journal publications with an IF score of 3 or more (ρ = 0.86; 95% CI, 0.84-0.87; P < .001) had the strongest positive correlation followed by first authorship (ρ = 0.77; 95% CI, 0.74-0.79; P < .001) and PPPs (ρ = 0.26; 95% CI, 0.20-0.31; P < .001). Preresidency (t = 3.3; P = .001), intraresidency (t = 4.1; P < .001), postresidency (t = 7.5; P < .001), first author (t = 6.6; P < .001), and journal publications with an IF score of 3 or more (t = 5.9; P < .001) were greater for academic ophthalmologists compared with community-based ophthalmologists.
Preresidency publication history is at least weakly correlated with future publications or work in an academic setting among ophthalmologists. Multiple factors associated with academic productivity were evaluated; however, adjustment for multiple analyses was not done and further testing is required to prove whether these factors are predictive.