The University of Pennsylvania orthopaedic surgery residency program under the direction of Dr. Carl T. Brighton was uniquely structured to require a year of research as part of a 5-year program. This requirement was instituted to foster critical thinking, and not necessarily to produce academic orthopaedic surgeons. Nonetheless, measures of academic productivity of the 127 residents who trained under Dr. Brighton’s leadership may be instructive. The purpose of this study was to assess metrics of academic productivity. In addition, the six current and former chairmen of orthopaedic surgery programs who performed research while residents at the University of Pennsylvania were surveyed for their impressions regarding required research rotations. Fifty-nine percent of the University of Pennsylvania residents took faculty positions after training; 75% published a peer-reviewed paper after residency; and 17% are current members of the American Orthopaedic Association. Overall, the chairmen surveyed found great value in their own resident research experience, but none have replicated the Brighton model of residency organization. Only two of the six programs have a research year: at both, this research rotation is in addition to the standard 5 years of clinical education and only at one are all residents required to participate.

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