Background A core objective of the Society of University Surgeons (SUS) is research focused: to “advance the art and science of surgery through original investigation.” This study sought to determine the current impact of the SUS on academic surgical productivity. Methods Individual faculty data for numbers of publications, citations, and National Institute of Health (NIH) funding history were collected for 4,015 surgical faculty at the top 55 NIH-funded departments of surgery using SCOPUS and the NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools. SUS membership was determined from membership registry data. Results Overall, 502 surgical faculty (12.5%) were SUS members with 92.7% holding positions of associate or full professor (versus 59% of nonmembers). Median publications (P) and citations (C) among SUS members were P: 112, C: 2,460 versus P: 29, C: 467 for nonmembers (P < .001). Academic productivity was considerably higher by rank for SUS members than for nonmembers: associate professors (P: 61 vs 36, C: 1,199 vs 591, P < .001) and full professors (P: 141 vs 81, C: 3,537 vs 1,856, P < .001). Among full professors, SUS members had much higher rates of NIH funding than did nonmembers (52.6% vs 26%, P < .05) and specifically for R01, P01, and U01 awards (37% vs 17.7%, P < .01). SUS members were 2 times more likely to serve in divisional leadership or chair positions (23.5% vs 10.2%, P < .05). Conclusion SUS society members are a highly productive academic group. These data support the premise that the SUS is meeting its research mission and identify its members as very academically productive contributors to research and scholarship in American surgery and medicine.
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