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Assessing the academic achievement of United States orthopaedic departments.



Assessing academic productivity allows academic departments to identify the strengths of their scholarly contribution and provides an opportunity to evaluate areas for improvement.


To provide objective benchmarks for departments seeking to enhance academic productivity and identify those with significant improvement in recent past.


Our study retrospectively analyzed a cohort of orthopaedic faculty at United States-based academic orthopaedic programs. 5502 full-time orthopaedic faculty representing 178 programs were included in analysis. Variables included for analysis were National Institutes of Health funding (2014-2018), leadership positions in orthopaedic societies (2018), editorial board positions of top orthopaedic journals (2018), total number of publications and Hirsch-index. A weighted algorithm was used to calculate a cumulative score for each academic program. This study was performed at a large, United States medical school.


All 178 programs included in analysis were evaluated using the comprehensive weighted algorithm. The five institutions with the highest cumulative score, in decreasing order, were: Washington University in St. Louis, the Hospital for Special Surgery, Sidney Kimmel Medical College (SKMC) at Thomas Jefferson University, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)/Brigham and Women's/Harvard. The five institutions with the highest score per capita, in decreasing order, were: Mayo Clinic (Rochester), Washington University in St. Louis, Rush University, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and MGH/Brigham and Women's/Harvard. The five academic programs that had the largest improvement in cumulative score from 2013 to 2018, in decreasing order, were: VCU, SKMC at Thomas Jefferson University, UCSF, MGH/Brigham and Women's/Harvard, and Brown University.


This algorithm can provide orthopaedic departments a means to assess academic productivity, monitor progress, and identify areas for improvement as they seek to expand their academic contributions to the orthopaedic community.

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