BACKGROUND: Early engagement in cardiothoracic (CT) surgery research may help attract trainees to academic CT surgery, but whether this early exposure boosts career-long academic achievement remains unknown.METHODS: A database of all CT surgery faculty at accredited, academic CT surgery training programs in the United States during the year 2018 was established. Excluding international medical graduates, surgeons who started general surgery residency in the United States prior to 2004 and who published at least one manuscript prior to traditional CT fellowship training were included (n=472). Each surgeon's educational background, work history, and research publications were recorded from publicly-available online sources.RESULTS: In total, 370 surgeons (78.4%) co-authored a CT surgery manuscript before fellowship training, while 102 (21.6%) published only on subjects unrelated to CT surgery. Regardless of whether surgeons pursued dedicated research training or not, those who co-authored a CT surgery manuscript prior to fellowship training published more papers per year as an attending (p<0.01), resulting in more total publications (p<0.01) and a higher H-index (p<0.01) over comparably long careers. Among CT surgeons who did not publish CT surgery research prior to fellowship training, those who co-authored a CT surgery manuscript during fellowship also exhibited enhanced future academic productivity.CONCLUSIONS: Academic CT surgeons who published CT surgery research prior to fellowship training ultimately exhibit more prolific and impactful research profiles compared to those who published only on subjects unrelated to CT surgery during training. Efforts to increase early engagement in CT surgery research among trainees should be fully endorsed.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2020.10.013
View details for PubMedID 33159869