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Does Post-graduate Research Training While In Residency Lead To Academic Success? A Comprehensive Analysis Of Us Academic Plastic Surgeons
Joseph Lopez, MD MBA1, Afshin Ameri, B.A.Sc1, Srinivas M. Susarla, DMD, MD, MPH1, Sashank Reddy, MD PhD1, JW Tong, MBBS1, Neda Amini, MD1, James W. May, Jr., MD2, WP Andrew Lee, MD1, Amir H. Dorafshar, MBChB1.
1Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD, USA, 2Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.

Introduction
It is currently unknown whether formal research training has an impact on academic advancement in plastic surgery. The purpose of this study was to determine whether formal research training was associated with higher research productivity, academic rank, and procurement of extramural NIH-funding in plastic surgery, comparing academic surgeons who completed said research training with those without.
Methods
This was a cross-sectional study of full-time academic plastic surgeons in the United States. The main predictor variable was formal research training, defined as completion of a post-doctoral research fellowship or attainment of a PhD. The primary outcome was scientific productivity measured by the h-index (the number of publications h that have at least h citations each). The secondary outcomes were academic rank and NIH funding. Descriptive, bivariate, and multiple regression statistics were computed.
Results
A total of 607 academic surgeons were identified from 94 ACGME-accredited plastic surgery training programs. One hundred seventy-nine surgeons (29.5%) completed formal research training. The mean h-index was 11.7 ± 9.9. Fifty-eight (9.6%) surgeons successfully procured NIH-funding. The distribution of academic rank was the following: endowed professor (5.4%), professor (23.9%), associate professor (23.4%), assistant professor (46.0%), and instructor (1.3%). In a multiple regression analysis, completion of formal research training was significantly predictive of a higher h-index and successful procurement of NIH funding.
Conclusion
Current evidence demonstrates that formal research training is associated with higher scientific productivity and increased likelihood of future NIH funding.


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