An Online Calculator for Predicting Academic Career Trajectory in Neurosurgery in the United States

Adham M. Khalafallah, Adrian E. Jimenez, Melanie A. Horowitz, Samantha Camp, Timothy F. Witham, Judy Huang, Debraj Mukherjee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: Determining factors that predict a career in academic neurosurgery can help to improve neurosurgical training and faculty mentoring efforts. Although many academic career predictors have been established in the literature, no method has yet been developed to allow for individualized predictions of an academic career trajectory. The objective of the present study was to develop a Web-based calculator for predicting the probability of a career in academic neurosurgery. Methods: The present study used data from neurosurgeons listed in the American Association of Neurological Surgeons database. A logistic regression model was used to predict probability of an academic career, and bootstrapping with 2000 samples was used to calculate an optimism-corrected C-statistic. P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: A total of 1818 neurosurgeons were included in our analysis. Most surgeons were male (89.7%) and employed in nonacademic positions (60.2%). Factors independently associated with an academic career were female sex, attending a residency program affiliated with a top 10 U.S. News medical school, attaining a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree, attaining a Master of Science (MS) degree, higher h-index during residency, more months of protected research time during residency, and completing a clinical fellowship. Our final model had an optimism-corrected C-statistic of 0.74. This model was incorporated into a Web-based calculator ( Conclusions: The present study consolidates previous research investigating neurosurgery career predictors into a simple, open-access tool. Our work may serve to better clarify the many factors influencing trainees' likelihood of pursuing a career in academic neurosurgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e155-e162
JournalWorld neurosurgery
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Academic career
  • Graduate medical education
  • Neurosurgery
  • Residency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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