Pre-residency publication and its association with paediatric residency match outcome—a retrospective analysis of a national database
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INTRODUCTION: Scholarly activity is considered valuable in the resident selection process by candidates and program directors alike, despite existing literature suggesting applicants with scholarly work do not perform better in the match. These studies, however, are limited in that they have only measured whether candidates have successfully matched or not. To try and reconcile the existing disconnect in the value of pre-residency scholarly activity, we sought to deepen the understanding by investigating whether pre-residency publication is associated with a higher rank-order list match achievement. METHODS: Anonymized data were collected from the Canadian Residency Matching Service for individuals matched to paediatric programs from 2007-2012. The primary analysis was to identify whether documentation of ≥1 pre-residency publication was associated with achieving a first-choice match. Secondary analyses included evaluating for an association between multiple pre-residency publications, academic presentations or a graduate degree and match outcome. RESULTS: Of a total of 843 matched individuals, 406 (48.2%) listed ≥1 pre-residency publication and 494 (58.6%) matched to their first-choice program. The possession of ≥1 pre-residency publications was not associated with matching to a candidate's first-choice program (odds ratio = 0.94 [95% confidence interval = 0.71-1.24], p = 0.66). Similarly, listing ≥2 publications, ≥3 publications, a graduate degree, or an academic presentation was not associated with achieving a first-choice match. CONCLUSIONS: The results provide increased support for the notion that in aggregate, candidate scholarly activity does not influence match outcome. Accordingly, it is recommended that medical student research activities are fostered with the goal to improve their skills as scientists, and not simply to achieve a better residency match outcome.