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Are You Thinking About Going Back To School? An Analysis Of Plastic Surgery Residents, Alumni, Faculty And Program Leaders With Advanced Degrees
Said Azoury, Sammy Othman, Niv Milbar, Omar Elfanagely, MD, William Piwnica-Worms, Geoff Kozak, MD, Joseph M. Serletti, MD, John P. Fischer, Stephen J. Kovach, MD.
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

PURPOSE: The number of adults with master's, professional and doctoral degrees has doubled since 2000. The relevance of advanced degrees in plastic surgery has not been explored.
METHODS: Faculty, residents, and recent alumni with advanced degrees from US plastic surgery training programs were identified. Degrees were analyzed based on geography, program/hospital rankings, department vs. division status, gender, leadership/editorial roles, private vs. academic practice, sub-specialization training, academic productivity/H-indices, and NIH funding.
RESULTS: 986 faculty, 1001 resident, and 761 alumni credentials from 95 training programs were reviewed: 9.3% of faculty, 7.1% of residents, and 6.3% of alumni have advanced degrees, majority being men (71.3%). Residency programs ranked top-10 by Doximity or affiliated with a top-10 medical school/hospital have more advanced degrees across faculty, residents and alumni (p<0.01). Faculty holding PhDs are less likely fellowship trained (52.5% vs. 74.0%, p=0.034). MBA is associated with Chair/Chief status (30.0% vs. 8.57%, p=0.01) or other major academic title (eg. Dean, Director) (70.0% vs. 37.14%, p=0.01). Trainees on the East Coast (p=0.016) and within a Department (vs. Division, p=0.0028) are more likely to have advanced degrees. No significant associations exist between degree type and professor status, research productivity, academic vs. private practice, or subspecialized training.
CONCLUSIONS: The majority of plastic surgeons with advanced degrees are men and have PhDs, although there is an increasing trend of other research degrees (e.g. MPH) in current trainees. MBA is associated with Chair/Chief status or other major academic title. Reasons for obtaining an advanced degree and impact on career deserve further attention. <!--EndFragment-->


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