Trends in the research profile of matched independent plastic surgery fellows

Ledibabari M. Ngaage, Adekunle Elegbede, Katie L. McGlone, Brooks J. Knighton, Wilmina Landford, Arthur J. Nam, Scott D. Lifchez, Sheri Slezak, Yvonne Rasko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


AbstractThe independent plastic surgery pathway recruits candidates with 5 years of surgical training who are typically more advanced in research than their integrated counterparts. Research productivity helps to discriminate between applicants. However, no studies exist detailing the academic attributes of matched independent plastic surgery candidates.We performed a cohort study of 161 independent plastic surgery fellows from accredited residency programs from the 2015 to 2017 application cycles. We performed a bibliometric analysis utilizing Scopus, PubMed, and Google Scholar to identify research output measures at the time of application.The cohort was predominantly men (66%) with a median of 3 articles and a H-index of 1 at the time of application. Interestingly, 16% of successful candidates had no published articles at the time of application, and this did not change significantly over time (P = .0740). Although the H-index remained stable (R 0.13, P = .1095), the number of published journal articles per candidate significantly decreased over 3 consecutive application cycles (R -0.16, P = .0484). Analysis of article types demonstrated a significant increase in basic science articles (R 0.18, P = .0366) and a concurrent decrease in editorial-type publications (R = -0.18, P = .0374).Despite the decline in publication volume of matched independent plastic surgery fellows, the quality of their research portfolio has remained constant. Matched applicants appear to be shifting focus from faster-to-publish articles to longer but higher impact projects. In selecting a training route, applicants must weigh the highly competitive integrated path against the dwindling number of independent positions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E23540
JournalMedicine (United States)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2021


  • H -index
  • academic
  • bibliometrics
  • publications
  • research
  • residency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Trends in the research profile of matched independent plastic surgery fellows'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this