The allotment of grants is increasingly dependent on benchmarking of scientific output. Still, data to benchmark such output for plastic surgeons are lacking. Therefore, we retrieved these data for plastic surgeons in The Netherlands.
We analysed the bibliographic and some biographic characteristics of all 223 plastic surgeons registered in The Netherlands from 1950 through 2004, as well as of all 61 trainee plastic surgeons. Biographic characteristics were obtained through the Netherlands Society of Plastic Surgery and bibliographic characteristics were retrieved from PubMed® and the Science Citation Index®. With these data, we established a trend of publications at various moments in the careers of plastic surgeons.
The age at graduation from medical school (27 years) and at the defence of PhD before registration (32 years) did not differ between specialists and residents. Eighteen residents (0.30) had already obtained a PhD, compared to the 34 specialists (0.15) who obtained their PhD prior to registration. Specialists made 2396 contributions to 1758 PubMed-indexed articles and residents made 327 contributions to 323 articles. Sixty percent of the specialists had published by the time of registration, whereas 79% of the current residents had already done so. The resident-authors had contributed to more articles (mean 6.8) than their predecessors had done at the moment of their registration (mean 4.7). Surgeons and residents published the greater part of their work in plastic surgery journals with relatively high impact factors. Sixty percent of the articles by residents and 45% of the articles by specialists had been cited by others, and articles by residents obtained a mean of 3.8 citations as compared to 4.3 citations to articles by specialist. Most specialists published until six years after registration.
The quantity and quality of publications by plastic surgeons and residents from The Netherlands increased over the studied 55-year period. Most specialists published from the moment of their graduation at medical school until six years after their registration as plastic surgeon. The residents of 2004 published more and better than their predecessors.
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Published online: May 18, 2007
Accepted: December 5, 2006
Received: October 31, 2006
© 2007 British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.