Resident Research Experience and Career Path Association: A National Survey of Recent Otolaryngology Graduates

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To determine whether the research rotation experience affects the career path of otolaryngology residents.

Study Design/Setting

Two web-based surveys were disseminated by the AAO-HNS; one to current and former resident trainees and the other to current residency program directors.

Subjects and Methods

A web-based survey was disseminated to all AAO-HNS members classified as otolaryngology residents or residency graduates within the last 6 years, regarding their research rotation and its potential influence on their career path. A second web-based survey was delivered simultaneously to program directors to evaluate their perception of the need for research in a training program and their role in the rotation. Chi-square tests for independence as well as multivariate analyses were conducted to determine whether aspects of the resident research rotation related to career path.


The resident survey was completed by 350 respondents (25% response rate), and 39 program directors completed the second survey (37% response rate). Multiple factors were examined, including federal funding of faculty, mentorship, publications prior to residency, success of research project measured by publication or grant submission, and type of research. Multivariate analyses revealed that factors most predictive of academic career path were intellectual satisfaction and presence of a T32 training grant within the program (P < .05).


The composition and quality of the residency research rotation vary across institutions. Factors that enhance stronger intellectual satisfaction and the presence of T32 grant, which demonstrates an institution’s commitment to research training, may promote pursuit of a career in academia versus private practice.

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