Recent Trends in Research Productivity of US Vascular surgery Program Directors and Trainees
Afsha Aurshina, Artur Rozentsvit, Vivek Sreeram, Shaheen Sultana, Steven Gerus, Ayisha Zainab, Vladimir Falb, Anil Hingorani, Sheila Blumberg, Enrico Ascher.
Vascular Institute of New York, Brooklyn, NY
Objective: Academic productivity involves teaching, and research productivity. The authors suggest that research productivity however, is a quantifiable assessor of academic productivity and can be used as a measure to define the benchmark and to identify trends of academic productivity of vascular surgery trainees in the United States. The objectives of the study were to (i) Compare academic productivity in medical school, residency, fellowship and post-graduation, (ii) Compare academic productivity of traditional versus integrated programs, (iii) Compare academic productivity between different regions of the US and (iv) Determine the relationship between academic productivity of vascular program directors to vascular trainees in the last decade.
Methods: The names of the program directors and vascular surgery trainees were taken from the AGMCE and APDVS respectively from 2006-2016 including data for both traditional (5+2) and integrated (0+5) vascular surgery training programs. This was used to query PubMed to collect information regarding the research productivity during medical school, residency, fellowship and post- graduation of vascular trainees to correlate with productivity of vascular program directors.
Results: The study included data of 1545 vascular trainees and 109 program directors from traditional and integrated vascular surgery programs in the United States. These include 1167 graduated vascular trainees with mean year of graduation 2012 (SD ± 2.7 years). The majority of the trainees were from traditional programs (81.4%) with integrated trainees (18.6%). When data regarding their current practice was queried, we found a majority (44.6%) in private practices, 21.7% in an academic practice and the remaining 33.7% in a mixed practice setup. The dataset included prior vascular fellows who are currently Professors (7.2%), Associate Professors (3.2%) and Assistant professors (12.2%). The majority of non-faculty (76%) include private practitioners and recently graduated fellows. The mean total number of publications overall were 7.5 (SD ± 12.5 publications) with medical school publications mean: 0.83 (SD ± 2.6), residency publications mean: 2.4 (SD ± 4.2) and fellowship publications mean: 1.8 (SD ± 3). There was a significant difference between productivity in medical school, residency and fellowship with highest productivity in residence and lowest in medical school (P<.0001). There was a significant decline in academic productivity post-graduation compared to productivity in residency and fellowship (P<.0001). There was also a significant difference with higher productivity in integrated compared to traditional programs. (P=.017). The academic productivity of trainees also varied based on region with northeast greater than south, midwest and western US (P=.004), however there was no difference between program directors. (P=.46) When the academic productivity of program directors were compared to those of vascular residents and fellows in the last 10 years, a weak but statistically significant positive correlation (beta [95% confidence interval]: 0.073 [0.052-0.095] , 0.099 [0.071-0.126], respectively) was noted.
Conclusion: A significant difference between academic productivity of medical school, residency and fellowship exists, which is positively correlated to academic productivity of program directors. Thus, building an academic research interest early in training is essential. However, a significant decline has been noted in research post-graduation. A regional variation in academic productivity of vascular trainees was also noted, which could be institutional or multifactorial.
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