Early Career Publication Trajectory of Male Infertility Fellows During and After Fellowship.

Improving evidence-based medicine through research contribution is an important aspect of fellowship training. Prior studies have investigated the research activity of urology fellows during and after fellowship. The main objective of this study was to specifically explore the publication productivity of male infertility fellows both during fellowship and in the first 5 years afterwards.

The 19 fellowship program directors from the Society for the Study of Male Reproduction were asked to share a list of fellows from 2004 to 2019. Publications from 87 fellows at 12 programs were analyzed. PubMed® was utilized to search for peer-reviewed publications for each fellow during their fellowship and in the first 5 years afterwards. Each publication was classified by publication type (original research, review article, editorial comment, or case report), topic (fertility, testosterone, or other), and author type (sole, first, middle, or last author).

Some 87 male infertility fellows were analyzed, and a total of 1608 peer-reviewed publications were identified. Some 662 total publications (41.2%) were written on the topic of fertility during fellowship and in the first 5 years afterwards. Some 554 (34.5%) publications were completed during fellowship, 178 (11.1%) in year 1, 164 (10.2%) in year 2, 220 (13.7%) in year 3, 269 (16.7%) in year 4, and 223 (13.9%) in year 5. The mean number of publications during fellowship was 6.37 (range 0-57). Means for years 1-5 after fellowship were 2.12, 1.95, 2.65, 3.36, and 2.97, respectively. After fellowship, 25.3% of the fellows did not publish again. A significant difference was detected between the group mean number of publications (analysis of variance, ANOVA - p = 0.0001) during fellowship and the 5 years afterwards. There was no significant difference between the group mean number of publications between the 1st and 5th years post-fellowship (ANOVA - p = 0.5919).

As anticipated, male infertility fellows were most productive during fellowship, with relatively stable research production thereafter. Thus, early career support and mentorship remain important to the future academic success of fellows. Future investigation of the relationship between male infertility fellow characteristics and the pursuit of an academic career is warranted.

Cureus. 2023 Mar 12*** epublish ***

Jesus Perez, Benjamin Plambeck, Christopher M Deibert

Urology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, USA., Urology, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, USA.