OBJECTIVE: Advanced clinical fellowship training has become a popular option for surgical trainees seeking to bolster their clinical training and expertise. However, the long-term academic impact of this additional training following a traditional thoracic surgery fellowship is unknown. This study aimed to delineate the impact of an advanced clinical fellowship on subsequent research productivity and advancement in academic career among general thoracic surgeons.METHODS: Using an internally constructed database of active, academic general thoracic surgeons who are current faculty at accredited cardiothoracic surgery training programs within the United States, surgeons were dichotomized according to whether an advanced clinical fellowship was completed or not. Academic career metrics measured by research productivity, scholarly impact (H-index), funding by the National Institutes of Health, and academic rank were compared.RESULTS: Among 285 general thoracic surgeons, 89 (31.2%) underwent an advanced fellowship, whereas 196 (68.8%) did not complete an advanced fellowship. The most commonly pursued advanced fellowship was minimally invasive thoracic surgery (32.0%). There were no differences between the two groups in terms of gender, international medical training, or postgraduate education. Those who completed an advanced clinical fellowship were less likely to have completed a dedicated research fellowship compared to those who had not completed any additional clinical training (58.4% vs. 74.0%, p?=?0.0124). Surgeons completing an advanced clinical fellowship demonstrated similar cumulative first-author publications (p?=?0.4572), last-author publications (p?=?0.7855), H-index (p?=?0.9651), National Institutes of Health funding (p?=?0.7540), and years needed to advance to associate professor (p?=?0.3410) or full rank professor (p?=?0.1545) compared to surgeons who did not complete an advanced fellowship. These findings persisted in sub-analyses controlling for surgeons completing a dedicated research fellowship.CONCLUSIONS: Academic general thoracic surgeons completing an advanced clinical fellowship demonstrate similar research output and ascend the academic ladder at a similar pace as those not pursuing additional training.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jsurg.2021.09.003
View details for PubMedID 34674980