Radiation Oncology Resident Research Productivity in the United States: 2015 to 2019

Jared P. Rowley, Kunal K. Sindhu, William H. Smith, Anthony D. Nehlsen, Andrew W. Smith, Eric J. Lehrer, Michael Buckstein, Stanislav Lazarev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Purpose: Multiple efforts have been made in recent years to establish national benchmarks for research productivity among US radiation oncology residents. Morgan et al found a mean of 1.01 first-author, PubMed-searchable articles published by US radiation oncology residents over 4 years of residency between 2002 and 2007, whereas Verma et al found a mean of 1.97 first-author, PubMed-searchable articles published by members of the graduating US radiation oncology residency classes of 2014 and 2015. In this study, we sought to establish new national benchmarks for US radiation oncology resident research productivity and characterize the scholarly work produced by graduating US radiation oncology residents. Methods and Materials: We built a database of US radiation oncology residents who graduated between 2015 and 2019 using multiple sources of publicly available data. We subsequently searched the PubMed database to identify all first-author publications for every resident in our database from the start of residency until 3 months after the completion of residency. Publications were categorized by type (original research, review, case report, or commentary) and content. We performed a secondary analysis to identify factors associated with an increased probability of publishing during residency. Results: We identified 909 US radiation oncology residency graduates from 89 residency programs between 2015 and 2019. Collectively, these graduates published 2637 first-author, PubMed-searchable articles (mean: 2.90; median: 2.0; range, 0-58; interquartile range, 1-4) in 392 distinct peer-reviewed journals during their residency, and 69.7% of the first-author publications comprised original research. On multivariable analysis, only residency size was predictive of publishing a first-author manuscript during residency. Among residents with at least 1 first-author manuscript, male sex, lack of a doctorate degree, and residency size were all significant predictors of the number of first-author manuscripts published during residency. Conclusions: US radiation oncology resident research productivity, as measured by the number of first-author, PubMed-searchable publications, has increased compared with historical data. However, substantial variability exists in resident research productivity nationwide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1111-1118
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 15 Mar 2021


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