OBJECTIVE: The aim of this work was to compare the academic impact of trauma surgery faculty relative to faculty in general surgery and other surgery subspecialties. METHODS: Scholarly metrics were determined for 4, 015 faculty at the top 50 National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded university-based departments and five hospital-based surgery departments. RESULTS: Overall, 317 trauma surgical faculty (8. 2%) were identified. This compared to 703 other general surgical faculty (18. 2%) and 2, 830 other subspecialty surgical faculty (73. 5%). The average size of the trauma surgical division was six faculty. Overall, 43% were assistant professors, 29% were associate professors, and 28% were full professors, while 3. 1% had PhD, 2. 5% had MD and PhD, 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 (PhD, 7. 7%; and MD and PhD, 5. 7%). Median publications/citations were lower, especially for junior trauma surgical faculty (T) 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, 88/2, 234 vs. G, 93/2193; p = NS [not significant for either publications/citations] and O, 99/2425; p = NS). Publications/Citations for division chiefs/directors were comparable with other specialties: T, 77/1, 595 vs. G, 103/2, 081 and O, 74/1, 738; p = NS, but were lower for all nonchief 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 subspecialty faculty. Causes of decreased academic productivity and lower NIH funding must be identified, understood, and addressed.
- Academic productivity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine