COVID-19-Related Publications by Hospitalists in the United States

Cureus. 2023 Feb 27;15(2):e35553. doi: 10.7759/cureus.35553. eCollection 2023 Feb.


Objective To determine the degree to which hospitalists published academic manuscripts related to COVID-19 during the first year of the pandemic. Patients and methods The study was a cross-sectional analysis of the author's specialty, defined by byline or professional online biography, from articles related to COVID-19 published between March 1, 2020, and February 28, 2021. It included the top four internal medicine journals by impact factor: New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine, and Annals of Internal Medicine. Participants were all United States (US)-based physician authors contributing to COVID-19 publications. Our primary outcome was the percentage of US-based physician authors of COVID-19 articles who were hospitalists. Subgroup analyses characterized author specialty by authorship position (first, middle, last) and article type (research vs. non-research). Results Between March 1, 2020, and February 28, 2021, the top four US-based medical journals published 870 articles related to COVID-19 of which 712 articles with 1940 US-based physician authors were included. Hospitalists accounted for 4.2% (82) of authorship positions including 4.7% (49/1038) of authorship positions in research articles and 3.7% (33/902) of authorship positions in non-research articles. First, middle, and last authorship positions were held by hospitalists at 3.7% (18/485), 4.4% (45/1034), and 4.5% (19/421) of the time, respectively. Conclusions Despite caring for a large number of patients with COVID-19, hospitalists were rarely involved in disseminating COVID-19 knowledge. Limited authorship by hospitalists could constrain the dissemination of inpatient medicine knowledge, impact patient outcomes, and affect the academic promotion of early-career hospitalists.

Keywords: academic research; authorship; covid-19 publications; hospital medicine; promotion.