Integrated Plastic Surgery Match: Trends in Research Productivity of Successful Candidates

Ledibabari M. Ngaage, Adekunle Elegbede, Katie L. Mcglone, Brooks J. Knighton, Carisa M. Cooney, Damon S. Cooney, Scott D. Lifchez, Sheri Slezak, Yvonne M. Rasko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Plastic surgery continues to be one of the most competitive specialties in the residency match. Research productivity is a key component of the selection process. Nevertheless, potential applicants have a poor understanding of the strength of their research credentials in comparison to other applicants. Methods: The authors identified successful applicants from the 2012 to 2017 integrated plastic surgery residency application cycles. The authors performed a bibliometric analysis of these residents using Scopus, PubMed, and Google Scholar to identify published articles at the time of application. The authors then calculated the h-index of each applicant at the time of application. Results: The authors included 829 integrated residents. The median h-index was 0 (interquartile range, 0 to 3) and the median number of publications was 2 (interquartile range, 0 to 5) for all applicants. The proportion of applicants with at least one publication at the point of application increased significantly over time (60 percent in 2012 versus 76 percent in 2017; p = 0.0072). In addition, the number of publications per applicant increased over time (one in 2012 versus two in 2017; p = 0.0005), as did h-index (0 in 2012 versus 1 in 2017; p = 0.0015). Strikingly, the number and percentage of review articles among applicants increased significantly over this time frame (9 percent versus 14 percent; p = 0.0299). Conclusions: The increasing level of academic productivity among applicants may reflect the increasing competitiveness of the integrated plastic surgery residency application process. As the pressure to compete for a training position increases, students may seek faster-to-publish articles to gain an edge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-201
Number of pages9
JournalPlastic and reconstructive surgery
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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