Chairpersons of Pathology in the United States: Benchmarks for Academic Publications and Professional Credentials


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Abstract

Chairpersons of pathology often are viewed as departmental role models in academic medical centers. To objectify this view, we undertook a systematic survey of publication records and professional certification among 126 chairpersons in the United States. The median of the total number of scientific publications by the cohort was 105 since graduation from medical school, and the median yearly number of peer-reviewed papers was 3.34 per person (mean, 4.25). A random 10% of the study population was analyzed further with reference to the percentage of publications that reflected basic science research; 41% of the total literature contributions of this subgroup fit that description, and only 38% of the chairpersons in the subgroup had 80% or more non–service-related publications. Of all chairpersons, 85% had obtained primary board certification in anatomic pathology, clinical pathology, or both, and 25% of the group had earned at least 1 subspecialty board certificate in addition. These numbers reflect an evolution in the professional backgrounds of chairpersons of pathology such that demands for academic scholarship and proficiency in hospital practice and management seem to pertain to that group.

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