Retrospective Study
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2021. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Orthop. Jun 18, 2021; 12(6): 412-422
Published online Jun 18, 2021. doi: 10.5312/wjo.v12.i6.412
Trends in leadership at orthopaedic surgery sports medicine fellowships
Nicholas C Schiller, Andrew J Sama, Amanda F Spielman, Chester J Donnally III, Benjamin I Schachner, Dhanur M Damodar, Christopher C Dodson, Michael G Ciccotti
Nicholas C Schiller, Andrew J Sama, Amanda F Spielman, Benjamin I Schachner, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33136, United States
Chester J Donnally III, Christopher C Dodson, Michael G Ciccotti, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Rothman Institute at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107, United States
Dhanur M Damodar, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Miami Hospital, Miami, FL 33316, United States
Author contributions: Schiller NC designed and performed the research and wrote the manuscript; Sama AJ assisted in the design of the study and performed the research and assisted in writing the manuscript; Spielman AF assisted in the design of the study and performed the statistical analysis and assisted in writing the manuscript; Schachner BI performed the research and assisted with the writing of the manuscript; Donnally III CJ, Damodar DM, Dodson CC, and Ciccotti MG assisted with the design of the study and writing the manuscript and supervised the study.
Institutional review board statement: This study was not required to undergo review by an institutional review board.
Informed consent statement: The informed consent was waived.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors, their immediate family, and any research foundation with which they are affiliated did not receive any financial payments or other benefits from any commercial entity related to the subject of this article. This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. There are no relevant disclosures, copyrighted materials or signed patient consent forms associated with this study.
Data sharing statement: No additional data are available.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Nicholas C Schiller, BSc, MS, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, 1600 NW 10th Ave #1140, Miami, FL 33136, United States.
Received: February 19, 2021
Peer-review started: February 19, 2021
First decision: May 3, 2021
Revised: May 5, 2021
Accepted: June 4, 2021
Article in press: June 4, 2021
Published online: June 18, 2021
Research background

Fellowship directors (FDs) in sports medicine influence the future of trainees in the field of orthopaedics. Understanding the characteristics these leaders share must be brought into focus. Currently, there is little research regarding the demographic landscape of these leaders.

Research motivation

The current literature highlighted a lack of research specifically using objective data analyze sports medicine FDs. By adding to this gap in the literature, this study may promote future research towards understanding further the requirements and qualifications needed to hold a leadership position in orthopedic surgery.

Research objectives

This study aimed to analyze the demographic background, institutional training, and academic experience for all current sports medicine FDs.

Research methods

A national orthopedic surgery sports medicine fellowship program directory was used to incorporate all United States fellowships and their respective FDs. Demographic information of interest included: Age, gender, ethnicity, residency/fellowship training, residency/fellowship graduation year, year hired by current institution, time since training completion until FD appointment, length in FD role, status as a team physician and H-index. This information was collected via online resources, emailed questionnaires, phone call and current curriculum vitae. Data was then complied and reviewed to evaluate for trends among sports medicine FDs. This is a novel research method for analyzing the current cohort of sports medicine FDs.

Research results

Of 82 FDs were incorporated into the study, 97.5% of which were male. 84.15% identified as Caucasian, 7.32% as Asian-American, 2.44% as African American, and 2.44% as Hispanic, and 3.66% were of another race or ethnicity. The mean age of current FDs was 56 years old, and the mean Scopus H-index was 23.49. 45.12% completed their residency training, fellowship training or both at the same institution where they currently work. Additionally, 69.5% are also team physicians at the professional and/or collegiate level. Seven residency programs least three future FDs. While seven fellowship programs produced at least four future FDs. 9.75% of FDs completed two fellowships and 3.66% of FDs completed three fellowships. 3.66% of FDs did not graduate from any fellowship training program.

Research conclusions

This study provides an overview of current sports medicine FDs within the United States and functions as a guide to direct initiatives to achieve diversity equality. This study may be referenced to help dictate efforts to address disparities in gender and racial equality in orthopedic surgery.

Research perspectives

The direction of future research should focus on the progression of leaders in orthopedic surgery, evaluating the changes in demographic and academic backgrounds of leaders in subsequent years. Applying this methodology longitudinally may prove paramount in reaching the goals the field of orthopedic surgery aims to achieve.