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Lacking Advanced Degrees are not a Barrier to Entry into Academic Surgery Leadership.

PMID: 34153559 (view PubMed database entry)
DOI: 10.1016/j.jss.2021.05.015 (read at publisher's website )

Cody Lendon Mullens, J Andres Hernandez, Ryan J Kirk, Lowell Parascandola, J Wallis Marsh, David C Borgstrom,

<h4>Background</h4>Undergraduate and graduate medical education offerings continue to create opportunities for medical students to pursue MD+ degree education. These educational endeavors provide formal education in fields related to surgery, which gives trainees and surgeons diverse perspectives on surgical care. This study sought to assess current prevalence of additional advanced degrees among leaders in academic surgery to assess the relationship between dual degree attainment and holding various leadership positions within surgical departments.<h4>Methods</h4>The Association for Program Directors in Surgery database was used to identify academic surgical programs, which comprised our study population. Each department of surgery website in the APDS database was interrogated for departmental leaders and their reported academic degrees.<h4>Results</h4>Among 3223 identified surgeon leaders, 14.6% (470/3223) were found to possess MD+ degrees. Most common degrees possessed included MBA, MPH, and PhD. In comparing different types of surgeon leaders such as chairs, program directors, and division chiefs, no group was found to have a significantly higher prevalence of MD+ degrees than others.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Prevalence of MD+ degrees among current academic surgery leaders is low, and the lack of an advanced degree should not be considered a barrier to entry into leadership positions. We hypothesize that these findings are likely to evolve as larger proportions of trainees obtain MD+ degrees during medical school and academic development time throughout residency.

J Surg Res (The Journal of surgical research)
[2021, 267:167-171]

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