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Academic versus Clinical Productivity of Cardiac Surgeons in the State of New York: Who Publishes More and Who Operates More

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We investigated whether/how cardiac surgeons can be productive both academically and clinically. Using online resources (New York State Adult Cardiac Surgery database, SCOPUS), we collected individual clinical volumes (operations performed/year), academic metrics (ongoing publications, role as author), practice setting, and seniority for all cardiac surgeons in the State of New York from 1994 to 2011. Over time, individual clinical volumes decreased (median operations/year: 193 in 1995 vs 126 in 2010; P < 0.001), whereas academic productivity remained unchanged (median publications/year: 0.7 vs 0.3; P = 0.55). There was no correlation (Spearman’s correlation coefficient: −0.061; P = 0.08) between the number of new publications and operations/year for the whole population. More operations/year (median: 155 vs 144; P = 0.03) were performed by surgeons without versus with publications during that same year. Who published more worked at hospitals with higher clinical volumes (Spearman’s correlation coefficient: 0.16; P < 0.001) and was more likely affiliated with thoracic surgery fellowship programs (median publications/year: 1.7 for affiliated vs 0 for nonaffiliated surgeons; P < 0.001). Cardiac surgeons could be classified into four categories: ∼40 per cent clinically busy, but not publishing at all; ∼45 per cent operating less, but publishing a little; ∼15 per cent clinically very productive (operating as much as the nonpublishers) and publishing a lot; and ∼1 per cent operating the least, but publishing the most.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2018

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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