Orthopedic Faculty Get Bonuses for Academic Productivity

Nineteen of 31 programs use academic output to measure productivity; seven rely on department chair

TUESDAY, Sept. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Two-thirds of orthopedic surgery residency training programs rely on financial incentives to reward their most productive faculty; more than half consider academic output the hallmark of productivity, researchers report in the September issue of The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

Sanford E. Emery, M.D., of Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland, Ohio, and a colleague analyzed interviews and electronic survey data on 31 academic residency orthopedic surgery training programs.

The researchers found that 22 of 31 programs relied on salaries and bonuses to reward faculty for being productive; two relied exclusively on salaries, the rest employed a combination approach. Some 19 departmental compensation programs focused on academic output; seven of these relied on the department chairperson's opinion, six relied on a point method, one relied exclusively on academic ranking, while the rest took a combination approach. Twelve department programs did not focus on academic productivity.

"Most, but not all, departments accounted for academic productivity in their compensation system," the authors wrote. "Most programs used the chair's discretion to determine academic bonuses, but several departments had developed point systems."

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