Academic Productivity of Spine Surgeons at United States Neurological Surgery and Orthopedic Surgery Training Programs

Alexander F. Post, Adam Y. Li, Jennifer B. Dai, Akbar Y. Maniya, Syed Haider, Stanislaw Sobotka, Tanvir F. Choudhri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objective: Spinal surgery is taught and practiced within 2 different surgical disciplines, neurological surgery and orthopedic surgery. We have provided a unified analysis of academic productivity measured using the h-index attributable to spine-focused faculty at U.S. residency programs. Methods: A total of 278 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education training programs were assessed to identify 923 full-time faculty members with a spinal surgery designation, as defined by spine fellowship training or case volume >75% in spine surgery. The faculty were assessed with respect to academic rank, duration of practice in years, and academic productivity (h-index). Results: The comparison showed a significantly greater mean h-index for neurological spine surgeons. The mean h-index for both disciplines increased significantly as faculty rank increased. Within the academic ranks of assistant and associate professor, neurological spine surgeons had significantly greater mean h-indexes. Neurological spine surgeons had a significantly lower practice duration. At all ranks except for assistant professor, the mean practice duration was not significantly different statistically between the neurological spine and orthopedic spine surgeons. A positive correlation between the h-index and practice duration was found for both spine surgical disciplines. The proportional odds models for neurological and orthopedic spine surgeons were moderately successful at predicting faculty rank according to the h-index. Conclusions: We present a unified view of academic productivity as measured by the h-index among neurosurgical and orthopedic surgery spine faculty, with some noticeable differences. These results can be used for benchmark purposes to assess the relative productivity of its faculty and could be of interest to those pursuing academic opportunities in spine surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e511-e518
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • Academic neurosurgery
  • Academic orthopedic surgery
  • Bibliometrics
  • Spine surgery
  • h Index


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