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Table 1.  
Demographic Characteristics and Choice of Academic Career
Demographic Characteristics and Choice of Academic Career
Table 2.  
Preresidency and In-Residency Publications and Association With Choice of Academic Careera
Preresidency and In-Residency Publications and Association With Choice of Academic Careera
1.
Loo  DS, Liu  C-L, Geller  AC, Gilchrest  BA.  Academic dermatology manpower: issues of recruitment and retention.  Arch Dermatol. 2007;143(3):341-347.PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
2.
Morales-Pico  BM, Cotton  CC, Morrell  DS.  Factors correlated with residents’ decisions to enter academic dermatology.  Dermatol Online J. 2016;22(11):13030/qt7295783b.PubMedGoogle Scholar
3.
Kia  KF, Gielczyk  RA, Ellis  CN.  Academia is the life for me, I’m sure.  Arch Dermatol. 2006;142(7):911-913.PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
4.
Gorouhi  F, Alikhan  A, Rezaei  A, Fazel  N.  Dermatology residency selection criteria with an emphasis on program characteristics: a national program director survey.  Dermatol Res Pract. 2014;2014:692760.PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
5.
McClelland  S  III, Thomas  CR  Jr, Wilson  LD, Holliday  EB, Jaboin  JJ.  Association of preresidency peer-reviewed publications with radiation oncology resident choice of academic versus private practice career.  Pract Radiat Oncol. 2017;7(5):364-367.PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
6.
Rezek  I, McDonald  RJ, Kallmes  DF.  Pre-residency publication rate strongly predicts future academic radiology potential.  Acad Radiol. 2012;19(5):632-634.PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
Research Letter
July 2018

Demographic, Academic, and Publication Factors Associated With Academic Dermatology Career Selection

Author Affiliations
  • 1Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Department of Dermatology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Dermatol. 2018;154(7):844-846. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.0743

Strengthening the academic dermatology workforce is an issue that faces challenges in both recruitment and retention of dermatologists.1 There has been considerable interest in identifying factors associated with dermatology trainees’ entry into academics.2,3 As research productivity and publications represent key elements in academia, these components may help assess trainees’ potential to pursue academic dermatology. We examined associations between demographic, academic, and publication factors and dermatology trainees’ initial choice of academic vs private practice careers.

Methods

We conducted a retrospective analysis of 416 graduates of US dermatology residencies certified by the American Board of Dermatology in 2015 and their career choices as of July 1, 2017. Graduates of military-affiliated residency programs (N = 19) were excluded, given possible military-specific postresidency trajectories; 5 individuals who did not hold attending-level positions as of July 1, 2017, were also excluded. Sex, graduate degree(s) obtained, medical school and residency attended, and postresidency fellowship(s) completed were identified from publicly available information. Publication records for each individual were obtained using comprehensive PubMed database searches (https://www.pubmed.gov). Preresidency publications (PRPs) were defined as publications indexed by PubMed before dermatology residency (prior to 2012) and in-residency publications were defined as publications indexed by PubMed during dermatology residency (2012-2015). PubMed searches were supplemented by internet searches identifying alternative names associated with each individual to ensure accurate authorship attribution. Academic dermatology career choice was defined as a staff position at an institution directly affiliated with a dermatology residency program. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS (IBM Analytics); P < .05 (2-sided) was the threshold for statistical significance. This study was deemed exempt by the Partners Healthcare Institutional Review Board. The data were collected from publicly available information such as employer webpages and personal professional profiles; therefore, participant consent was not applicable to this study.

Results

Among the study cohort of 392 individuals, 133 (33.9%) held academic positions and 259 (66.1%) held private practice attending positions (Table 1). Sex was not statistically associated with choice of academic career (odds ratio [OR], 1.20; 95% CI, 0.77-1.87; P = .44). Completion of a PhD (OR, 2.81; 95% CI, 1.29-6.14; P = .009) and completion of another advanced degree (OR 1.98; 95% CI, 1.00-3.91; P = .05) were both associated with increased likelihood of entering academic careers (Table 1). Individuals who attended medical schools affiliated with a top 25 National Institutes of Health–funded institution were significantly more likely to choose academic careers (OR, 1.99; 95% CI, 1.24-3.18; P = .004), as were those who attended residency programs affiliated with a top 25 National Institutes of Health–funded institution (OR, 1.68; 95% CI, 1.09-2.59; P = .02). There was no association between fellowship completion and subsequent academic career choice.

A total of 1082 PRPs and 1229 in-residency publications were analyzed (Table 2). The study cohort had a mean of 2.6 PRPs (range, 0-26), including a mean of 1.7 dermatology-specific PRPs (range, 0-24). Individuals with PhDs had significantly more total PRPs than those without PhDs (7.1 vs 1.7; P < .001), but there was no significant difference between these 2 groups in dermatology-specific PRPs. The mean number of in-residency publications was 2.95 (range, 0-35), with no significant difference between individuals with and without PhDs.

Individuals with 2 or more PRPs were significantly more likely than those with 1 PRP or fewer to pursue an academic career (OR, 1.95; 95% CI, 1.28-2.98; P = .002). Individuals with 4 dermatology-specific PRPs or more were significantly more likely than individuals with 3 dermatology-specific PRPs or fewer to choose academics (OR, 1.84; 95% CI, 1.03-3.29; P = .04). Finally, having 4 in-residency publications or more was statistically associated with academic career choice (OR, 1.61; 95% CI, 1.03-2.51; P = .04).

Discussion

This study represents the first nationwide analysis of factors associated with dermatology trainees’ entrance into academic dermatology careers. Preresidency publications represent a significant factor in the residency selection process for dermatology trainees4; our analysis suggests that PRPs may be indicative of trainees’ interest in academic practice. Our findings regarding the association between preresidency and in-residency academic productivity and pursuit of academic careers are consistent with trends observed in several other specialties.5,6 Causes of this observed association warrant further investigation, but are likely multifactorial and may include trainees’ access to mentorship and skills training pertinent to academia such as study design and writing manuscripts. Overall, this study offers insights for identifying and encouraging trainee entry into academic dermatology.

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Article Information

Accepted for Publication: March 3, 2018.

Corresponding Author: Vinod E. Nambudiri, MD, MBA, Department of Dermatology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, 221 Longwood Ave, Boston, MA 02115 (vnambudiri@bwh.harvard.edu).

Published Online: May 9, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.0743

Author Contributions: Ms Shi and Dr Nambudiri had full access to all the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

Study concept and design: Shi, Nambudiri.

Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: All authors.

Drafting of the manuscript: Shi, Tung.

Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: Shi, Nambudiri.

Statistical analysis: Shi, Tung.

Administrative, technical, or material support: Shi, Nambudiri.

Study supervision: Nambudiri.

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.

References
1.
Loo  DS, Liu  C-L, Geller  AC, Gilchrest  BA.  Academic dermatology manpower: issues of recruitment and retention.  Arch Dermatol. 2007;143(3):341-347.PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
2.
Morales-Pico  BM, Cotton  CC, Morrell  DS.  Factors correlated with residents’ decisions to enter academic dermatology.  Dermatol Online J. 2016;22(11):13030/qt7295783b.PubMedGoogle Scholar
3.
Kia  KF, Gielczyk  RA, Ellis  CN.  Academia is the life for me, I’m sure.  Arch Dermatol. 2006;142(7):911-913.PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
4.
Gorouhi  F, Alikhan  A, Rezaei  A, Fazel  N.  Dermatology residency selection criteria with an emphasis on program characteristics: a national program director survey.  Dermatol Res Pract. 2014;2014:692760.PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
5.
McClelland  S  III, Thomas  CR  Jr, Wilson  LD, Holliday  EB, Jaboin  JJ.  Association of preresidency peer-reviewed publications with radiation oncology resident choice of academic versus private practice career.  Pract Radiat Oncol. 2017;7(5):364-367.PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
6.
Rezek  I, McDonald  RJ, Kallmes  DF.  Pre-residency publication rate strongly predicts future academic radiology potential.  Acad Radiol. 2012;19(5):632-634.PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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