Time-trends in publication productivity of young transplant surgeons in the United States

Am J Transplant. 2012 Mar;12(3):772-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2011.03878.x. Epub 2011 Dec 17.


To further clarify whether the transplant surgical research workforce is adequately poised to further scientific achievement, we have investigated the publication productivity of young transplant surgeons. Our hypothesis is that recent young transplant surgeons write fewer academic manuscripts than their senior colleagues did when they were young surgeons. We compared the number of first and senior author publications in the first 5 years after completion of fellowship among recent transplant surgeons (completed fellowship 2000-2004) and former young surgeons (completed fellowship 1990-1994). Recent young surgeons wrote fewer overall manuscripts (0.94 vs. 1.67, p < 0.05), as well as basic science manuscripts (0.21 vs. 0.54, p < 0.05) and clinical manuscripts (0.73 vs. 1.14, p < 0.05). Adjusting for the number of trainees, we note that recent young surgeons published 59% fewer basic science publications (IRR 0.41, 95% CI 0.29-0.57, p < 0.001) and 33% fewer clinical publications (IRR 0.67, 95% CI 0.56-0.82, p < 0.001). Among fellows in the 2000-2004 cohort, there was a 32% lower chance of publishing at least one paper compared with fellows in the 1990-1994 cohort (IRR 0.68, 95% CI 0.51-0.89, p = 0.006). These findings raise concerns about the future place of transplant surgeons within the science that shapes our own field.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research / trends*
  • Fellowships and Scholarships
  • Humans
  • Organ Transplantation*
  • Physicians*
  • Publications / statistics & numerical data*
  • Specialties, Surgical*
  • Time Factors