Master's Degrees Among Academic Plastic Surgeons: What are the Trends?
Rami Elmorsi2; Malke Asaad, MD1; Kiran S. Mahapure, MS MCh3; Jesse Selber, MD, MPH, MHCH1; Mark W. Clemens, MD1; Anaeze Offodile, MD, MPH1; Charles E. Butler, MD1
1Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA, 2Mansoura University, Faculty of Medicine, Dakahlia, Egypt, 3Department of Plastic Surgery, KAHER J. N. Medical College, Belgaum, Karnataka, India
Background: More plastic surgeons are pursuing advanced degrees for academic development. However, the impact of advanced degrees on academic rank and research productivity has not been previously evaluated. The goal of this study is to assess the percentage of plastic surgeons with masterís degrees and compare their research output and position title rank to those without masterís degrees
Methods: Departmental websites of accredited integrated plastic surgery residency programs were used to create a dataset of faculty members, their degrees, and academic positions. Further data on the number of publications, citations, and H-index were collected using Elsevier Scopus bibliographic database
Results: A total of 844 academic plastic surgeons (78% males and 22% females) were identified, out of whom 7.7% had at least one masterís degree. Master of Science (MS) was identified in 3.1%, Master of Public Health (MPH) in 1%, Master of Business Administration (MBA) in 3.1%, and other masterís degrees in 1.1% of our cohort. No gender differences were found in regards to MPH and MBA. However, more MS holders were identified in the female group compared to the male group (5.5%vs. 2%,p=0.03). No significant differences were identified between academic rank (assistant vs. associate vs. professor) or being a chair or a program director and any masterís degrees. Faculty with MPH had a significantly higher number of publications (58 vs. 24, p=0.03) and citations (942 vs. 340,p=0.03) compared to those without MPH. MS and MBA holders had a higher number of both publications and citations but did not reach statistical significance as shown in Table 1
Conclusion: A small but growing percentage of plastic surgeons hold masterís degrees. While plastic surgeons with a masterís degree tended to have a higher number of publications and citations (particularly MPH holders), these advanced degrees were not associated with the academic rank or being a chair or program director. The value of masterís degrees such as clinical trial development, healthcare management, leadership skills, and business acumen likely have an impact outside the scope of this study, but the results demonstrate these degrees alone do not guarantee higher promotion or position rank.
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