Assessment of Research Mentorship During Medical School for Future Radiation Oncology Trainees

International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics(2023)

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摘要
Background Medical student research productivity is an important component of a competitive radiation oncology (RO) residency application and research mentoring by RO faculty has the potential of stimulating enhanced interest in the specialty. According to the AAMC faculty roster, there are approximately 1,800 RO faculty at US MD-granting medical schools; however, little is known about the availability of RO-specific research opportunities relative to other specialties. We hypothesize that students who ultimately pursue RO residency will have a high percentage of medical school publications with non-RO mentors published in non-RO journals. Methods A list of 193 RO residents in a single post-graduate year class who graduated from medical school in June 2019 was compiled. Forty-six residents who were in medical school for more than four years (e.g. for an MD/PhD program) were excluded. The record of full-length scientific publications initiated during medical school (defined as published between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2019) for the remaining 147 residents was assessed using Scopus and cross-referenced using PubMed and Google Scholar. Data related to publication type, institution, author position, and mentor specialty was recorded. The primary mentor was defined as the senior (last) author unless he/she was a trainee and the first author an attending. Descriptive statistics are reported. Results A total of 434 publications were authored by the 147 residents, among which 115 (78%) attended a medical school with an affiliated RO residency program. The median number of publications per student was 2 (interquartile range (IQR) 1-4). Students' median author position was 2 (IQR 1-4) and 13 publications (3.0%) included 2 or more students. Categories of publications included 336 clinical (78%), 47 basic science (11%), 38 case reports/series (9%), and 12 education/training (3%). Manuscripts were published in a wide variety of journals, including 83 (19%) in 12 different RO-oriented journals. There were 294 unique mentors, with 70 mentors (24%) on two or more student publications, and 187 mentors (64%) sharing the same institution as the student. A total of 253 mentors (86%) had a MD or DO degree. Mentors most commonly specialized in RO (n=142, 56%), surgical subspecialties (n=53, 21%), and medical oncology (n=18, 7%). Discussion A high percentage of student publications among future RO residents are published in non-RO journals and result from mentoring relationships with physicians in other specialties. Our future work will evaluate the underlying reasons for these findings, and potential avenues to better engage students exploring a career in oncology. Medical student research productivity is an important component of a competitive radiation oncology (RO) residency application and research mentoring by RO faculty has the potential of stimulating enhanced interest in the specialty. According to the AAMC faculty roster, there are approximately 1,800 RO faculty at US MD-granting medical schools; however, little is known about the availability of RO-specific research opportunities relative to other specialties. We hypothesize that students who ultimately pursue RO residency will have a high percentage of medical school publications with non-RO mentors published in non-RO journals. A list of 193 RO residents in a single post-graduate year class who graduated from medical school in June 2019 was compiled. Forty-six residents who were in medical school for more than four years (e.g. for an MD/PhD program) were excluded. The record of full-length scientific publications initiated during medical school (defined as published between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2019) for the remaining 147 residents was assessed using Scopus and cross-referenced using PubMed and Google Scholar. Data related to publication type, institution, author position, and mentor specialty was recorded. The primary mentor was defined as the senior (last) author unless he/she was a trainee and the first author an attending. Descriptive statistics are reported. A total of 434 publications were authored by the 147 residents, among which 115 (78%) attended a medical school with an affiliated RO residency program. The median number of publications per student was 2 (interquartile range (IQR) 1-4). Students' median author position was 2 (IQR 1-4) and 13 publications (3.0%) included 2 or more students. Categories of publications included 336 clinical (78%), 47 basic science (11%), 38 case reports/series (9%), and 12 education/training (3%). Manuscripts were published in a wide variety of journals, including 83 (19%) in 12 different RO-oriented journals. There were 294 unique mentors, with 70 mentors (24%) on two or more student publications, and 187 mentors (64%) sharing the same institution as the student. A total of 253 mentors (86%) had a MD or DO degree. Mentors most commonly specialized in RO (n=142, 56%), surgical subspecialties (n=53, 21%), and medical oncology (n=18, 7%). A high percentage of student publications among future RO residents are published in non-RO journals and result from mentoring relationships with physicians in other specialties. Our future work will evaluate the underlying reasons for these findings, and potential avenues to better engage students exploring a career in oncology.
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future radiation oncology trainees,research mentorship,medical school
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