Impact of fellowship training on research productivity in academic ophthalmology

Grace Huang, Christina H. Fang, Santiago A. Lopez, Neelakshi Bhagat, Paul D. Langer, Jean Anderson Eloy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Objectives To assess whether scholarly impact of academic ophthalmologists, as measured using the h-index, is affected by fellowship training status and to further characterize differences in productivity among the various subspecialties and by departmental rank. Design A descriptive and correlational design was used. In total, 1440 academic ophthalmologists from 99 ophthalmology training programs were analyzed. The h-index data were obtained from the Scopus database. Faculty members were classified by academic rank and grouped into 10 categories based on fellowship training: anterior segment, corneal and external disease, glaucoma, uveitis and ocular immunology, vitreoretinal disease, ophthalmic plastic surgery, pediatric ophthalmology, neuro-ophthalmology, ophthalmic pathology, and "other." A one-way analysis of variance or Student t test using Microsoft Excel and "R" statistical software were used for comparison of continuous variables, with significance set at p < 0.05. Settings Faculty working in academic ophthalmology residency training programs in the United States whose information is stored in the American Medical Association's Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database. Results Fellowship-trained ophthalmologists had significantly higher research productivity, as measured using the h-index, than non-fellowship-trained ophthalmologists in this study (p < 0.0005). Academic ophthalmologists trained in vitreoretinal disease or ophthalmic pathology had the highest scholarly productivity compared with those in other ophthalmology subspecialties (p < 0.05). There was a significant increase in scholarly productivity with increasing academic rank from Assistant Professor to Professor (p < 0.05). A significant difference in productivity between fellowship-trained and non-fellowship-trained ophthalmologists existed individually only at the level of Assistant Professor (p < 0.0005). Conclusion Academic ophthalmologists with fellowship training have significantly higher scholarly output than non-fellowship-trained ophthalmologists do, as measured using the h-index. Research productivity increases with departmental academic rank from Assistant Professor to Professor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)410-417
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Academic promotion
  • Fellowship training
  • H-Index
  • Ophthalmology
  • Research productivity
  • Scholarly productivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education


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