This study sought to determine the attitudes of general surgery residents in New England toward research and the factors that affect their research participation and productivity.
Eighteen of the 20 general surgery residency programs in New England.
Four hundred fifty-nine surgical residents taking the American Board of Surgery In-Training Examination in 1999.
Main Outcome Measures
Rationale for and amount of time spent in research and the number of publications.
A majority of residents (61%) participated in research. Rationales for research participation included initiating an academic career (82%) and enhancing fellowship application prospects (83%). Personal debt was substantial, but had little influence on decisions regarding research. Gender was not a factor in the decision to participate in research, although women were more likely to cite a break from residency as a positive influence in their decision for doing research. Residents from larger programs (>25 residents) were more likely to participate in research, spend more time in research, and to publish an article than those from programs with fewer than 25 residents.
Most surgical residents in New England plan to or participate in research and publish their work. Significant differences in the type, duration, and productivity of research exist between larger and smaller programs, and may reflect differing priorities among residents, or differences in the variety of research opportunities available.