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Rapid exponential increase in neurosurgery departmental scholarly output following an intensive research initiative
  1. Zafar Karimov1,
  2. Syed Faraz Kazim2,
  3. Meic Schmidt2,
  4. Chirag Gandhi1,
  5. Jordan Vanderhooft1,
  6. Chad Cole1,
  7. Alan Stein1,
  8. Fawaz Al-Mufti1,
  9. Christian Bowers2
  1. 1Department of Neurosurgery, Westchester Medical Center, Valhalla, New York, USA
  2. 2Department of Neurosurgery, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Christian Bowers; christianbowers4{at}


There has been extensive research into methods of increasing academic departmental scholarly activity (DSA) through targeted interventions. Residency programmes are responsible for ensuring sufficient scholarly opportunities for residents. We sought to discover the outcomes of an intensive research initiative (IRI) on DSA in our department in a short-time interval. IRI was implemented, consisting of multiple interventions, to rapidly produce an increase in DSA through resident/medical student faculty engagement. We compare pre-IRI (8 years) and post-IRI (2 years) research products (RP), defined as the sum of oral presentations and publications, to evaluate the IRI. The study was performed in 2020. The IRI resulted in an exponential increase in DSA with an annual RP increase of 350% from 2017 (3 RP) to 2018 (14 RP), with another 92% from 2018 (14 RP) to 2019 (27 RP). RP/year exponentially increased from 2.1/year to 10.5/year for residents and 0.5/year to 10/year for medical students, resulting in a 400% and 1900% increase in RP/year, respectively. The common methods in literature to increase DSA included instituting protected research time (23.8%) and research curriculum (21.5%). We share our department’s increase in DSA over a short 2-year period after implementing our IRI. Our goal in reporting our experience is to provide an example for departments that need to rapidly increase their DSA. By reporting the shortest time interval to achieve exponential DSA growth, we hope this example can support programmes in petitioning hospitals and medical colleges for academic support resources.

  • education & training (see medical education & training)
  • medical education & training
  • neurosurgery

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  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since it first published. The provenance and peer review statement has been included.

  • Contributors ZK is responsible for the overall content, SFK edited the final manuscript, MS planned the study, CG planned the study, JV collected and analysed data, CC planned the study, AS collected data, FA-M planned the study, CB guided and supervised the study.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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