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J Vasc Surg. 2003 Jul;38(1):1-6.

Has the changing nature of vascular surgery adversely affected scholarly activity.

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Division of Vascular Surgery, University of Utah Medical Center, Salt Lake City, Utah 84132, USA.



Because of reduced reimbursement and introduction of endovascular techniques into practice, vascular surgeons have increased clinical commitments. Therefore we hypothesized that the scholarly productivity of vascular surgeons has decreased. Study design An author-based Medline search was carried out for members of the Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS). The search included the period from 1985 to 1989 (era 1) for members in 1990, and from 1995 to 1999 (era 2) for members in 2000. Citations were assigned a type: basic science, clinical, case report, letter, or other; and a topic: cardiac, vascular, endovascular, transplantation, or miscellaneous. The main outcome measures were the proportion of members who published in each era and the rates of publication among authors.


For era 1, 7069 citations were identified for 529 members, and for era 2, 6823 citations were identified for 615 members. Four hundred forty-two members were cited in era 1 (84%), compared with 443 (72%) in era 2 (P =.01). A significantly smaller proportion of members published clinical research, case reports, and other publications, but not basic science or letters. Excluding unpublished members, there was a median of 11 total publications per author in each era. There were significant reductions in the proportion of members publishing papers related to cardiac (from 36% to 21%), transplantation (8% to 4%), and miscellaneous (43% to 31%) topics, and a significant increase in papers related to endovascular topics (from 19% to 28%) from era 1 to era 2. Moreover, there was a significant increase in median number of vascular (from 5 to 8) and endovascular (1 to 2) papers per published member. Further, the proportion of vascular and endovascular citations compared with total citations increased from 44% to 56% in era 1 and from 3% to 10% in era 2. On a yearly basis, there was a steady decrease in the number of citations throughout era 2, whereas the number of citations in era 1 was relatively constant.


Academic productivity was maintained for individual members who published across both eras, but a smaller proportion of the SVS membership published in era 2. There was also a progressive reduction in the number of publications during the 1990s.

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