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Albert Bargoud, Loka Thangmathesvaran, Varesh R. Patel, Albert S Khouri; Quantifying the Impact of Research on Matching Into Ophthalmology Residency. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(9):6165.
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Ophthalmology is a competitive field in medicine and residency applicants often pursue research. Currently, there aren’t any studies that specifically examine how much research is done by those who have matched into ophthalmology. Therefore, we performed a retrospective cohort study to quantify the impact of research on matching into various tier ophthalmology residency programs.
US residents in the ophthalmology graduating class of 2019 were identified from their program websites and then searched on the Scopus database. Scopus profiles that could not be clearly linked to residents were excluded from the analysis. There were a total of 340 residents in 87 different programs that qualified. For each resident, we noted the variables listed in Table 1. The Hirsch index (h-index) is defined as the number of publications, h, that have been cited at least h times (for example, a researcher with an h-index of 3 has at least 3 publications that have been cited at least 3 times). The primary outcome was the tier of ophthalmology program that they matched into. Tiers were determined by the h-index of the program’s faculty and programs were divided into tiers 1-5, with tier 1 having the highest faculty h-index. Univariate/multivariate analyses and t-tests were used for statistical analysis.
On univariate analysis, multiple variables were significantly associated with matching at a higher tier ophthalmology residency program (Table 1). However, on multivariate analysis only the h-index was significant (p<0.001). Applicants who matched into programs not affiliated with their medical school had a significantly higher h-index (1.16±2.26; n=277) compared to applicants who matched into a program affiliated with their medical school (0.63±1.43; n=63; p = 0.022). Also, applicants with doctoral degrees had significantly higher h-indexes (5.40±3.78; n=15) and matched at higher tier programs (2.13±1.30) when compared to applicants without doctoral degrees (h-index: 0.86±1.80; n=325; p<0.001 and tier: 3.00±1.57; p=0.023).
A higher applicant h-index is associated with matching at an ophthalmology program with a higher faculty h-index. This is true for applicants who would like to train at a program that is not affiliated with their school. These findings can be used by applicants and advisors to have a better understanding of how research can influence their match outcome.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2018 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 29 - May 3, 2018.
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