Impact of Subspecialty Fellowship Training on Research Productivity Among Academic Plastic Surgery Faculty in the United States

Aditya Sood, MD, MBA; Paul J. Therattil, MD; Stella Chung, BA; Edward S. Lee, MD


ePlasty. 2015;15 

In This Article

Materials and Methods

A list of plastic surgery residency programs was accessed from the American Medical Association Fellowship and Residency Interactive Database. This included departments with either or both integrated and traditional track residencies. Independent fellowship training institutions were excluded. Faculty lists were accessed from individual training program Web sites, and a total of 590 faculty members were included in this analysis after exclusion of nonacademic clinical faculty, instructors, nonphysician research faculty, adjunct, and part-time faculty. An institutional review board approval was not obtained for this retrospective study.

Academic rank and fellowship information of faculty members was obtained from department Web sites, physicians' personal Web sites, and an online third-party physician database such as the US News and Health Report ( The h-index was calculated for each faculty member using the Scopus database (; Elsevier, Philadelphia, Pa). All data were collected in August 2014.

Surgeons who trained in more than 1 fellowship were classified in the "multiple fellowships" category. Surgeons who trained in general plastic surgery fellowship, those who trained in general surgery–related fellowships (such as surgical oncology), and those with no available fellowship training information were included in the "no-fellowship" category.

Subspecialty fellowships of interest included hand, craniofacial, microsurgery, cosmetic, research, wound healing, and burn. "Hand fellowship" included hand and microsurgery, hand, wrist, and peripheral nerve, and pediatric hand training. "Craniofacial fellowship" included craniofacial and pediatrics, pediatric craniomaxillofacial, orthognathic, and cleft and craniofacial training. "Microsurgery fellowship" included breast and microsurgery, head and neck oncology and microsurgery, and reconstructive surgery training. "Cosmetic fellowship" included aesthetic and minimally invasive, breast reconstruction, and aesthetic surgery training.

Statistical analyses were conducted using the Kruskal-Wallis test, with a subsequent Mann-Whitney U test, using Microsoft Excel, version 2007, software. Thresholds for significance were set at P < .05.