A Bibliometric Analysis of Research Productivity During Residency for 125 Hand Surgery Fellows

Nicholas Siegel, Joseph Lopez, Annie Cho, Scott D. Lifchez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Research output is 1 element of a multifactorial process that fellowships consider when evaluating applicants. Hand fellowships present a unique circumstance in which applicants from various specialties—plastic surgery, orthopedic surgery, or general surgery—may apply. This project aims to assess and compare the research output among current hand surgery fellows who received their residency training in plastic surgery vs. orthopedic surgery. Methods: This project was a cross-sectional study of current hand surgery fellows for the 2018-2019 academic year affiliated with Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-accredited hand surgery fellowship programs in the United States. Fellows were identified using departmental websites, and their bibliometric profiles were found on SCOPUS. The study variables collected were bibliometric (total number of publications, total number of citations, total number of first-author publications, maximum number of citations for a single work, h-index) and demographic (gender, training background). Descriptive analyses were performed as well as logistic regressions. Results: According to National Resident Matching Program, 170 applicants successfully matched to hand surgery fellowships for the 2018 appointment year. A total of 125 (74%) hand surgery fellows were identified across 83 programs. Thirty-five fellows (28%) received their residency training in plastic surgery, 85 in orthopedic surgery (68%), and 5 in general surgery (4%). Fellows published a total of 436 peer-reviewed publications. Bibliometric measures of total number of publications, total citations, maximum citations for a single work, and h-index were significantly higher among fellows with a plastic surgery background than those with an orthopedic surgery background. Total publications, total citations, maximum citations, and h-index remained significant when controlling for gender and residency affiliation (academic vs. community). Conclusions: The majority of current hand fellows attended orthopedic residencies. However, fellows from plastic surgery residencies have higher research productivity than their orthopedic surgery counterparts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)710-716
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of surgical education
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2020


  • academic productivity
  • h-index
  • hand fellowship
  • number of citations
  • number of publications
  • quantitative metrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education


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