Journal of Cancer Education

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 541–546 | Cite as

Scholastic Activity Among Radiation Oncology Residents at US Academic Institutions: a Benchmark Analysis

  • Shushan Rana
  • Emma B. Holliday
  • Reshma Jagsi
  • Lynn D. Wilson
  • Mehee Choi
  • Charles R. ThomasJr
  • Clifton D. Fuller


Objective assessment of academic productivity is useful for residency programs. This study aims to analyze the number of publications and Hirsch index (h index) among radiation oncology residents. Names of residents during the 2010 academic year (n = 607) were collected from the Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology 2010 Directory. Number of publications and h index from Jan. 1996 to Feb. 2012 were collected from a bibliographic database (SCOPUS, Elsevier, BV, Amsterdam, NL). Analysis of h index included stratification by gender, residency size, and postresidency private practice or academic employment. Six hundred seven residents, 67 % men and 33 % women, had an overall mean h index of 2.5 ± 3.2. Graduates in academia exhibited a higher mean h index (3.9 ± 0.30) compared to private practice (2.0 ± 0.25; p < 0.01). Gender, residency size, and post-graduate position remained correlates of h index (all p ≤ 0.01). Women had lower mean h index and number of publications than men (2.1 ± 2.3 vs 2.7 ± 3.5, 4.5 ± 5.3 vs 6.2 ± 8.0, respectively; both p < 0.05). However, when stratified by current position (resident, private practice, or academic), there were no significant differences in h index by gender. The mean ± SD h indices for institutions comprising the top 10 % ranged 4.17 ± 3.2–5.25 ± 5.4 while the bottom 10 % ranged 0.0 ± 0.0–0.75 ± 1.4. The h index is a useful metric to assess residents' early dedication to scholarly endeavors. Female radiation oncology residents had fewer total publications and slightly lower h indices, warranting accessible research avenues and environments for future female physician–scientists. The application of the h index provides a reference for medical students, residents, residency program directors, and many others to gauge academic performance and establish appropriate benchmarks.


Bibliometrics Academic productivity Mentorship Training Publications H index Radiation oncology 



Portions of these data were presented in abstract form at the 2012 meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology in Boston, MA, on October 29, 2012.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Institutional Board Review Statement

IRB approval was not required for this study due to the publically available nature of the data analyzed.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shushan Rana
    • 1
  • Emma B. Holliday
    • 2
  • Reshma Jagsi
    • 3
  • Lynn D. Wilson
    • 4
  • Mehee Choi
    • 5
  • Charles R. ThomasJr
    • 6
  • Clifton D. Fuller
    • 2
    • 6
  1. 1.The University of Texas Health Science Center San AntonioSan AntonioUSA
  2. 2.The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  3. 3.The University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  4. 4.Yale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  5. 5.Northwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA
  6. 6.Oregon Health and Science Center, Knight Cancer InstitutePortlandUSA

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