Evaluation of the Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research Medical Student Anesthesia Research Fellowship Program Participants' Scholarly Activity and Career Choices
BACKGROUND:The Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research Medical Student Anesthesia Research Fellowship (MSARF) program is an 8-week program that pairs medical students with anesthesiologists performing anesthesia-related research. This study evaluated the proportion of students who published an article from their work, as well as the percentage of students who entered anesthesiology residency programs. METHODS:A list of previous MSARF participants (2005 to 2012), site, and project information was obtained. Searches for publications were performed using PubMed. The primary outcome was the publication rate for MSARF projects. The MSARF abstract-to-publication ratio was compared with the percentage of abstracts presented at biomedical meetings that resulted in publication as estimated by a Cochrane review (44%). For students who had graduated from medical school, match lists from the students' medical schools were reviewed for specialty choice. RESULTS:Forty-two percent of the 346 MSARF projects were subsequently published. There was no difference between the MSARF abstract-to-publication ratio and the publication rate of articles from abstracts presented at scientific meetings (P = 0.57). Thirty percent (n = 105; 95% CI, 25 to 35%) of all the MSARF students were authors on a publication. Fifty-eight percent of the students for whom residency match data (n = 255) were available matched into anesthesiology residencies (95% CI, 52 to 64%). CONCLUSIONS:The MSARF program resulted in many students being included as a co-author on a published article; the majority of these students entered anesthesiology residency programs. Future research should determine whether the program has a long-term impact on the development of academic anesthesiologists.
Validation of Biomarkers of CVD Risk from Dried Blood Spots in Community-Based Research: Methodologies and Study-Specific Serum Equivalencies
Dried blood spot (DBS) methodology offers significant advantages over venipuncture in studies of vulnerable populations or large-scale studies, including reduced participant burden and higher response rates. Uncertainty about the validity of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk biomarkers remains a barrier to wide-scale use. We determined the validity of DBS-derived biomarkers of CVD risk versus gold-standard assessments, and study-specific, serum-equivalency values for clinical relevance of DBS-derived values. Concurrent venipuncture serum and DBS samples (n = 150 adults) were assayed in Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments-certified and DBS laboratories, respectively. Time controls of DBS standard samples were assayed single-blind along with test samples. Linear regression analyses evaluated DBS-to-serum equivalency values; agreement and bias were assessed via Bland-Altman plots. Linear regressions of venipuncture values on DBS-to-serum equivalencies provided R(2) values for total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and C-reactive protein (CRP) of 0.484, 0.118, and 0.666, respectively. Bland-Altman plots revealed minimal systematic bias between DBS-to-serum and venipuncture values; precision worsened at higher mean values of CRP. Time controls revealed little degradation or change in analyte values for HDL-C and CRP over 30 weeks. We concluded that DBS-assessed biomarkers represent a valid alternative to venipuncture assessments. Large studies using DBS should include study-specific serum-equivalency determinations to optimize individual-level sensitivity, the viability of detecting intervention effects, and generalizability in community-level primary prevention interventions.