Background and objectives: In 2006, the Family Medicine Review Committee (RC) began requiring resident scholarly activity. This study sought to (1) determine how resident scholarly activity requirements and productivity changed after this alteration, (2) delineate characteristics of scholarship within family medicine residencies, and (3) determine the factors within programs that are associated with resident scholarly productivity.
Methods: We sent a 38-item electronic survey to all 450 US family medicine program directors. Multivariate analysis was performed to determine significant predictors of scholarship.
Results: Fifty-five percent of surveys were returned; 42.8% of programs modified scholarship requirements after 2006, and 48.6% required resident scholarship in 1997 versus 89.6% in 2009. A total of 76.6% have research curricula versus 51.5% in 1997; 87.5% report that <25% of residents authored publications within 2 years, yet 46.1% of programs report >50% of residents conducted research during that same time. Three factors were associated with ≥25% of residents publishing within 2 years: "Residency director publishing" (OR=4.1, 95% CI=1.5-11.5), "≥6 faculty publications within 2 years" (OR=7.8, 95% CI=3.0-20.3), and "Residency opened before 1980" (OR=3.7, 95% CI=1.4-9.6). Five factors were associated with participation by ≥50% of program's residents in a research project: "Resident recognition for scholarship" (OR=2.2, 95% CI=1.1-4.1), "Dedicated resident time for research" (OR=2.3, 95% CI=1.2-4.4), "Local Research Day" (OR=2.5, 95% CI=1.3-5.1), "Academic advancement linked to scholarship" (OR=1.9, 95% CI=0.9-3.9), and "Residency director performs research" (OR=2.7, 95% CI=1.4-5.1).
Conclusions: Many family medicine residency programs have increased resident scholarly activity requirements since 2006. To date, these changes have not increased scholarly output, and most programs have low resident scholarship. This study confirms that dedicating resources and time to research combined with active faculty scholarship will likely increase resident scholarly production.