Introduction The Hirsch Index (HI) is often used by academic institutions to assess research impact, and on average across all disciplines a full social science professor will have a HI of 4.9 and a Senior Lecturer 2.2. Nevertheless its validity within the context of Gastrointestinal Surgery (GIS) is unknown and the aim of this study was to calculate HI for a cohort of GIS consultant trainers in a single UK Deanery to assess its relative validity.
Method Contemporary 75 GIS consultant trainers were identified and individual HIs and Total Publication (TP) counts obtained via the Internet search engines, Scopus and Web of Science (WoS).
Results Median HI (Scopus) was 5 (0–34) and TP 13 (0–152). Median HI vs. TP by subspecialty were: Hepatobiliary 6.5 vs. 17, Oesophagogastric 6.5 vs. 16, and Colorectal 4 vs. 12 (HI p = 0.792, TP p = 0.903). Both academic and university hospital consultants had higher HIs when compared with peers (11 vs. 4 p = 0.001 and 10 vs. 4 p < 0.001). HI was greater than 4.9 in 52% and 2.2 in 73%. Correlation between HI and TP was strong (rho = 0.929, p < 0.001) with the Intraclass Correlation Coefficient between Scopus and WoS HI also highly significant [ICC 0.969 (95% CI 0.951 to 0.981), p < 0.001]
Conclusion Almost three quarters (73%) of GIS consultants had HIs equivalent to Senior Lecturer level or above, and the academic targets within the 2013 JCST Certificate of Completion of Training Curriculum appear achievable during training.
Disclosure of interest None Declared.
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