The authors of this study sought to evaluate the academic productivity of plastic surgery departments and divisions relative to their general and subspecialty counterparts as well as to identify the influence of integrated residency programs and subspecialty fellowships, both of which were hypothesized to increase the academic productivity of their programs in terms of publications, citations, and extramural research funding.

The authors evaluated the productivity of academic plastic surgeons at the 55 top NIH funded academic departments of surgery as identified by the Blue-Ridge Institute for Medical Research compared to their colleagues in general surgery and the other surgical subspecialties.

They identified surgeons by their academic rank and leadership roles as well as their academic productivity in terms of total publications, total citations, h-index, and NIH funding for analysis.  Statistical analysis was performed to compare metrics of academic output for each of the three subsets of surgeons.  It is important to note that this study does exclude a few highly regarded plastic surgery programs due to the nature of the ranking system and also fails to take into consideration the quality of the papers included the analysis.