Authors : Ibrahim S. Al-Busaidi, Cameron I. Wells, Tim J. Wilkinson
Medical student journals play a critical role in promoting academic research and publishing amongst medical students, but their impact on students’ future academic achievements has not been examined.
We aimed to evaluate the short- and long-term effects of publication in the New Zealand Medical Student Journal (NZMSJ) through examining rates of post-graduation publication, completion of higher academic degrees, and pursuing an academic career.
Student-authored original research publications in the NZMSJ during the period 2004–2011 were retrospectively identified. Gender-, university- and graduation year-matched controls were identified from publicly available databases in a 2:1 ratio (two controls for each student authors).
Date of graduation, current clinical scope of practice, completion of higher academic degrees, and attainment of an academic position for both groups were obtained from Google searches, New Zealand graduate databases, online lists of registered doctors in New Zealand and Australia, and author affiliation information from published articles.
Pre- and post-graduation PubMed®-indexed publications were identified using standardised search criteria.
Fifty publications authored by 49 unique students were identified. The median follow-up period after graduation was 7.0 years (range 2–12 years). Compared with controls, student–authors were significantly more likely to publish in PubMed®-indexed journals (OR 3.09, p = 0.001), obtain a PhD (OR 9.21, p = 0.004) or any higher degree (OR 2.63, p = 0.007), and attain academic positions (OR 2.90, p = 0.047) following graduation.
Publication in a medical student journal is associated with future academic achievement and contributes to develop a clinical academic workforce. Future work should aim to explore motivators and barriers associated with these findings.