Is there an impending loss of academically productive trauma surgical faculty? An analysis of 4,015 faculty

Nakul P. Valsangkar, Casi Blanton, John Mayo, Grace S. Rozycki, Teresa M. Bell, Teresa Zimmers, David V. Feliciano, Leonidas Koniaris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Compare the academic impact of trauma surgery faculty relative to faculty in general surgery and other surgery sub-specialties. METHODS: Scholarly metrics were determined for 4,015 faculty at the top 50 NIH-funded university-based and 5 hospital-based surgery departments. RESULTS: Overall, 317 trauma surgical faculty were identified (8.2%). This compared to 703 other general surgical faculty (18.2%) and 2830 other sub-specialty surgical faculty (73.5%). The average size of the trauma surgical division was 6 faculty. Overall, 43% were assistant professors, 29% associate professors, and 28% full professors, while 3.1% had PhDs, 2.5% were MD, PhDs, and, 16.3% were division chiefs/directors. Compared with general surgery, there were no differences regarding faculty academic levels or leadership positions. Other surgical specialties had more full professors (39% vs. 28% p <0.05) and faculty with research degrees (7.7% PhDs and 5.7% MD, PhDs). Median publications/citations were lower especially for junior trauma surgical faculty (T), as compared with general surgery (G) and other (O) surgical specialties- assistant professors (T: 9 publications/76 citations vs. G: 13/138 and O: 18/241, p <0.05), associate professors (T: 22/351 vs. G: 36/700 and O: 47/846, p <0.05) and professors (T: 88/2234 vs. G: 93/2193, p = N.S [not significant for either publications/citations] and O: 99/2425, p = N.S). Publications/citations for division chiefs/directors were comparable with other specialties- T: 77/1595 vs. G: 103/2081 and O: 74/1738, p =N.S, but were lower for all non-chief faculty, T: 23/368 vs. G: 30/528 and O: 37/658, p <0.05. Trauma surgical faculty were less likely to have current or former NIH funding than other surgical specialties (17 % vs. 27%, p <0.05), and this included a lower rate of R01/U01/P01 funding (5.5% vs. 10.8%, p <0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Senior trauma surgical faculty are as academically productive as other general surgical faculty and other surgical specialists. Junior trauma faculty, however, publish at a lower rate than other general surgery or sub-specialty faculty. Causes of decreased academic productivity and lower NIH funding must be identified, understood and addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - May 27 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Surgery

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