Identifying Sources of Funding That Contribute to Scholastic Productivity in Academic Plastic Surgeons

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Abstract

Background

Scholastic productivity has previously been shown to be positively associated with National Institute of Health (NIH) grants and industry funding. This study examines whether society, industry, or federal funding contributes toward academic productivity as measured by scholastic output of academic plastic surgeons.

Methods

Institution Web sites were used to acquire academic attributes of full-time academic plastic surgeons. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Open Payment database, NIH reporter, the Plastic Surgery Foundation (PSF), and American Association of Plastic Surgeons (AAPS) Web sites were accessed for funding and endowment details. Bibliometric data of each surgeon were then collected via Scopus to ascertain strengths of association with each source. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to identify significant contributors to high scholastic output.

Results

We identified 935 academic plastic surgeons with 94 (10.1%), 24 (2.6%), 724 (77.4%), and 62 (6.6%) receiving funding from PSF, AAPS, industry, and NIH, respectively. There were positive correlations in receiving NIH, PSF, and/or AAPS funding (P < 0.001), whereas industry funding was found to negatively associate with PSF (r = −0.75, P = 0.022) grants. The NIH R award was consistently found to be the most predictive of academic output across bibliometrics, followed by the AAPS academic scholarship award. Conventional measures of academic seniority remained predictive across all measures used.

Conclusions

Our study demonstrates for the first time interactions between industry, federal, and association funding. The NIH R award was the strongest determinant of high scholastic productivity. Recognition through AAPS academic scholarships seemed to associate with subsequent success in NIH funding.

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