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Transatlantic Editorial: Attrition of the Cardiothoracic Surgeon-Scientist: Definition of the Problem and Remedial Strategies

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Submitted by


Source Name: The Annals of Thoracic Surgery


John S. Ikonomidis, Philippe Menasche, Daniel Kreisel, Frank W. Sellke, Y. Joseph Woo, Yolonda L. Colson

In this editorial, Ikonomidis et al not only describe the challenges but also provide specific actionable steps towards improving the retention as well as clinical, academic, and personal success of cardiothoracic surgeon-scientists.

Challenges include:

  1. High clinical, academic, and administrative demands
  2. Steep competition for extramural funding
  3. Lack of protected time
  4. Lack of institutional and departmental support

Action plan includes:

  1. Lead by example, formal training, mentorship and institutional support
  2. Institute faculty start-up/support plans including funding and laboratory space that is readily accessible and locally available 
  3. Implement protected paid time for research that is truly protected from clinical duties
  4. Make research productivity financially incentivized and recognized. Incorporate research productivity into the compensation plan and promotion metrics
  5. Disseminate opportunities

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