Medical Student Research Productivity: Which Variables are Associated with Matching to a Highly Ranked Orthopaedic Residency Program?

Gregory R. Toci, Jeffrey A. Elsner, Benjamin F. Bigelow, Barry R. Bryant, Dawn M. LaPorte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: Little is known about the importance of an applicant's research productivity in terms of matching into a highly-ranked orthopaedic residency. We characterized the research of orthopaedic residents who matched in 2017 to determine whether 1) program tiers differed by their residents’ research; and 2) discrete increases in applicants’ research were associated with matching into higher-ranked programs. Design: We searched Scopus for resident publications accepted before 2017 or published through January 2017. Using an established ranking system, programs were ranked (tier-1, highest; tier-5, lowest) by their department's number of citations from 2005 to 2015. We compared resident research productivity among these 5 tiers. We then categorized residents by discrete levels of research productivity (0, 1, or ≥2 publications) and compared the differences in matched program rank. Setting: Data collection and analysis performed at Johns Hopkins Hospital, a tertiary care center in Baltimore, MD. Participants: We obtained our sample from allopathic orthopaedic program websites, excluding military programs and international students, for a total of 111 programs (565 of 726 matched residents [78%]). Results: Tier-1 and tier-2 programs differed significantly in their residents’ publications, h-index, and citations. Programs of other tiers did not differ significantly. Applicants with 1 publication matched to higher-ranked residency programs than those with 0 publications. When comparing residents with 1 publication versus residents with more than 1 publication, we found no significant differences in program rank matched. Conclusions: Our results suggest that higher-tier orthopaedic residency programs match residents with greater research productivity than do lower-tier programs. Having 1 publication was associated with matching into a higher-ranked program but no significant associations were observed beyond the first publication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)512-518
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of surgical education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021


  • Bibliometric analysis
  • H-index
  • Orthopaedic residency
  • Publications
  • Research
  • Residency match

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education


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