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A Comprehensive Review Of Medical Student First Author Publications In Plastic Surgery
Thomas J. Sorenson, BS1, Abhinav Lamba, BS1, Matthew D. Rich, MD1, Ruth J. Barta, MD2, Warren V. Schubert, MD1,2.
1University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA, 2Regions Hospital, Saint Paul, MN, USA.

Purpose The integrated plastic surgery residency match is a highly competitive process. If performed wisely, medical research is an opportunity to differentiate application from peers, and productivity is closely evaluated by residency programs. In this study, we aimed to characterize medical student research productivity for integrated plastic surgery residency programs and their respective medical schools.Methods A retrospective review of senior author publications from the 81 integrated plastic surgery programs from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2020 was performed. The primary outcome was publication with a medical student as the first author. Secondary outcomes included number of faculty from each program, geographic region of program, and ranking of associated medical school.Results The average number of medical student first author publications and faculty members per institution were 14.0 and 11.0, respectively. There was a positive correlation between number of faculty members and number of medical student first author publications for a program (R = 0.54, p < 0.0001). The average number of medical student first author publications was higher at top 25 programs than for the remaining programs (p < 0.001). Conclusions Most medical student first author publications in the United States are produced by 10 plastic surgery programs. Programs associated with higher ranking medical schools produce greater numbers of medical student first author publications. These analyses of medical student academic productivity should be a highly useful guide for current and future medical students as they strategize their successful match into plastic surgery.
Figure 1. Scatterplot showing the correlation between number medical student of first author plastic surgery publications and number of faculty member in plastic surgery department.
Figure 2. Geographic variation of medical student first author publication volume. (A) Chart depicting the percentage of the top 25 medical student first author publishing programs by region. (B) Scatterplot representing the number of medical student first author publications by plastic surgery department region.
Figure 3. Scatterplot representing U.S. News & World Report and NIH funding ranking for the top 25 medical student first author publication programs.
Figure 4. Plastic surgery departments that comprise top 25 programs as measured by National Institutes of Health funding and U.S. News & World Report have higher mean publications compared with all other plastic surgery programs. Student t test: **p < 0.001.


Program NameTotal First Author Medical Student PublicationsNumber of FacultyRelative Ratio
University of Pennsylvania Health System81165.1
Baylor College of Medicine72116.5
NYU Grossman School of Medicine70371.9
University of Michigan Health System62203.1
Yale-New Haven Medical Center58115.3
Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School53341.6
Stanford Health Care-sponsored Stanford University53163.3
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center49124.1
University of Southern California/LAC+USC Medical Center4185.1
Duke University Hospital39142.8
MedStar Health/Georgetown University Hospital37142.6
Washington University/Barnes-Jewish Hospital/St Louis Children's Hospital Consortium31152.1
New York Presbyterian Hospital (Columbia and Cornell Campus)28221.3
Rutgers Health/New Jersey Medical School2646.5
Johns Hopkins University/University of Maryland24201.2
Vanderbilt University Medical Center21131.6
Brown University20121.7
University of California, Los Angeles18161.1
University of Miami/Jackson Health System17121.4
McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University15220.7
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Medical Education15200.8
Rush University Medical Center1472.0
University of Chicago14111.3
Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University1371.9
Spectrum Health/Michigan State University13240.5
Cleveland Clinic Foundation12220.5
Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science (Rochester)11120.9
Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine1161.8
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center11170.6
University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics11120.9
Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell1091.1
Indiana University School of Medicine9140.6
University of Colorado School of Medicine9120.8
Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center8150.5
Louisiana State University School of Medicine8100.8
University of Florida871.1
University of Rochester871.1
Ohio State University Hospital7170.4
Oregon Health & Science University7100.7
Penn State Milton S Hershey Medical Center790.8
University of California, San Francisco7140.5
University of California, Irvine680.8

University of Cincinnati Medical Center/College of Medicine670.9
University of Kansas School of Medicine6120.5
University of Washington6170.4
Lahey Clinic570.7
Lehigh Valley Health Network/University of South Florida College of Medicine590.6
Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science (Arizona)580.6
University of California, Davis560.8
University of Virginia Medical Center570.7
Emory University School of Medicine480.5
Nassau University Medical Center/Stony Brook University480.5
St Louis University School of Medicine450.8
University of Kentucky College of Medicine450.8
University of Utah Health480.5
Prisma Health/University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia3110.3
University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Medicine350.6
University of New Mexico School of Medicine313.0
University of North Carolina Hospitals360.5
University of Texas Medical Branch Hospitals390.3
Virginia Commonwealth University Health System390.3
Wake Forest University School of Medicine3100.3
Albany Medical Center270.3
Dartmouth- Hitchcock/Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital270.3
Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals2160.1
University of Tennessee College of Medicine280.3
Carilion Clinic- Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine150.2
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai190.1
Loma Linda University Health Education Consortium1210.0
Southern Illinois University150.2
University of Massachusetts180.1
University of Missouri, Columbia140.3
Cooper Hospital-University Medical Center080.0
Geisinger Health System070.0
Loyola University Medical Center040.0
Texas A&M College of Medicine-Scott and White Medical Center, Temple060.0
University of California, San Diego060.0
University of Minnesota040.0
University of Mississippi School of Medicine070.0
West Virginia University School of Medicine040.0
Wright State University030.0

Table 1. Program ranking based on total first author medical student publications
Mid-Atlantic (n=13)Midwest (n=16)Northeast (n=17)South (n=16)Southwest (n=6)West (n=13)
Average Total First Author Medical Student Publications (±SD)15.5 (±22.3)12.1 (±15.5)20.6 (±23.0)12.25 (±18.8)5.6 (±4.3)12.0 (±16.3)
Average Total Faculty (±SD)12.5 (±6.4)11.7 (±6.6)12.3 (±9.6)8.7 (±2.8)9.2 (±5.4)11 (±5.1)

Table 2. Geographic distribution of medical student publication productivity in plastic surgery


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