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Plagiarism found in residency application essays

Article-Plagiarism found in residency application essays

Cambridge, Mass. — A Harvard Medical School study shows that more than 5 percent of application essays to residency programs — the so-called “personal statement” — contain plagiarized material, HealthDay News reports.

Researchers used a software program to assess essays, examining 4,975 applications to residency programs at one academic institution, beginning in July 2007.

Investigators found that 5.2 percent of the essays contained plagiarized material. Residency applications from medical schools outside the United States and Canada were more likely to contain plagiarized material, as were those from non-U.S. citizens.

Investigators also found that applicants who had not published and were without research experience, volunteer hours, previous residency or fellowship, or membership in the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society were more likely to have plagiarized, as were those with lower scores on the United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1.

The research appears in the July 20 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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