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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Predictors of an Initial Position in Emergency Medicine


Introduction: Each year, emergency medicine (EM) residency graduates enter a variety of community and academic positions. For some training programs, the potential for an academic career is a consideration during the interview process; however, no studies have looked at factors that might predict an academic career. Our goal was to identify variables present during the EM application cycle that predict an initial academic position.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed application materials from 211 EM graduates at Emory University from 2003-2013. We analyzed biographical variables, board scores, personal statements, and both undergraduate and medical school research experience and publications. An academic position was defined as working at a site with residents rotating in the emergency department, full or part-time appointment at a medical school, or a position with research required for promotion. We used a logistic regression model to determine the impact of these predictors on obtaining an initial academic position.

Results: A total of 79 (37%) graduates initially chose an academic job, and 132 (63%) took a community position. We identified the following statistically significant variables: younger age (odds ratio [OR] [0.79], 95% confidence interval [CI] [0.67-0.93], p=0.01); undergraduate publications (OR [1.41], 95% CI [1.08-1.83], p=0.01); and medical school publications (OR [3.39], 95% CI [1.66-6.94], p<0.001). Of note, mention of an academic career in the personal statement showed no statistical correlation (p = 0.41).

Conclusion: Younger age, and undergraduate and medical school publications were the variables most associated with an initial academic position. As this is a single-institution study, more studies are needed to validate these findings.


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