BACKGROUND: A first attending job often sets the tone for academic surgeons' future careers, and many graduating trainees are faced with the decision to begin their career at their training institution or another institution. We hypothesized that surgeons hired as first-time faculty at their cardiothoracic surgery fellowship (CSF) institution exhibit greater research productivity and career advancement than those hired as first-time faculty at a different institution.METHODS: Cardiothoracic surgeons who were listed as clinical faculty at all 77 accredited U.S. cardiothoracic surgery training programs and who trained via the general surgery residency and CSF pathway in 2018 were included (n=904). Surgeon-specific data regarding professional history, publications, and grant funding were obtained from publicly available sources.RESULTS: 294/904 (32.5%) surgeons were hired as first-time faculty at their CSF institution while 610/904 (67.5%) surgeons were hired at a different institution (start year 2005 vs 2006, p=0.3424). Both groups exhibited similar research productivity upon starting their first job (total papers: 7.0 vs 7.0, p=0.5913). Following them to the present, surgeons hired at their CSF institution produced more total papers (64.5 vs 39.0, p<0.0001) and exhibited a higher H-index (20.0 vs 14.0, p<0.0001). Surgeons in both groups required a similar amount of time to achieve associate (p=0.2079) and full professor (p=0.5925) ranks.CONCLUSIONS: Surgeons hired as first-time faculty at their CSF institution may experience benefits to research productivity but not career advancement. Trainees may find it advantageous to begin their careers in a familiar environment where they have already formed a robust specialty-specific network.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2020.09.026
View details for PubMedID 33152331