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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine