Taking a gap year to obtain an additional degree or for research is becoming increasingly popular among medical students pursuing dermatology to bolster residency application competitiveness. The purpose of this study was to determine whether doing so influences future academic achievement and career trajectory. A list of dermatologists who achieved board certification in 2010 was obtained from the American Board of Dermatology. Information regarding additional post-graduate degrees, research years, fellowship specialization, practice setting, publication number, and H-index were obtained using publicly available data. Additional degrees were associated with higher research productivity, higher H-index, and practicing at teaching hospitals while taking a research year was only associated with a higher H-index. This data can be used to further inform medical students wishing to achieve high levels of research productivity and careers at teaching institutions and residency programs wishing to recruit such applicants.
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