Academic productivity in surgical oncology: Where is the bar set for those training the next generation?

Christopher J. LaRocca, Paul Wong, Oliver S. Eng, Mustafa Raoof, Susanne G. Warner, Laleh G. Melstrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: Promotion and tenure are important milestones for academic surgical oncologists. The aim of this study was to quantify academic metrics associated with rank in surgical oncologists training the next generation. Methods: Faculty were identified from accredited surgical oncology fellowships in the United States. Scopus was used to obtain the number of publications/citations and h-index values. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) RePORT website was used to identify funding history. Results: Of the 319 surgeons identified, complete rank information was obtained for 308. The majority of faculty were men (70%) and only 11% of full professors were women. The median h-index values were 7, 17, and 39 for assistant, associate, and full professors, respectively. While 50% of full professors had a history of NIH funding, only 26% had RO1s and 20% had current NIH funding. Using multivariate analysis, years in practice, h-index, and a history of NIH funding were associated with academic rank (P <.05). Conclusion: Objective benchmarks, such as the median h-index and NIH funding, provide additional insights for both junior faculty and leadership into the productivity needed to attain promotion to the next academic rank for surgical oncologists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-402
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health under award number NIH 5K12CA001727‐20. The content is solely the responsibility of L Melstrom and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding
  • academic promotion
  • bibliometrics
  • h-index
  • surgical oncology


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