Academic Productivity in Orthopaedic Traumatology Correlates Positively With Industry Compensation : Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma

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Original Article

Academic Productivity in Orthopaedic Traumatology Correlates Positively With Industry Compensation

Flanagan, Christopher D. MD*; Walson, Francis T. BS; Dolorit, Maykel BS; Schmidt, Christian M. MD*; Frankle, Mark A. MD*; Mir, Hassan R. MD, MBA*

Author Information
Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma 37(6):p 309-313, June 2023. | DOI: 10.1097/BOT.0000000000002563



To determine the association between academic productivity and industry compensation among Orthopaedic Traumatologists.


Retrospective cohort study.


Review of the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services Open Payments program from 2016 to 2020.


1120 Orthopaedic Traumatologists.

Main Outcome Measurements: 

To determine if an Orthopaedic Traumatologist's h-index and m-index, as generated from Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar User Profile databases, correlate with total payments from medical industry in 7 categories, including Royalties and Licensing Fees, Consulting Fees, Gifts, Honoraria, and 3 unique Speaking Fee delineations.


Of 30,343 Orthopaedic Surgeons in the Open Payments program, 1120 self-identified with the Orthopaedic Trauma taxonomy. From 2016 to 2020, 499 surgeons (44.6%) received compensation in one of the eligible categories, most commonly from Consulting Fees (67.3%), though payments from Royalties provided the greatest gross income (70.4%). Overall, for all 1120 surgeons, h-index (r = 0.253, P < 0.001) and m-index (r = 0.136, P < 0.01) correlated positively with mean annual total industry compensation. The highest annual compensation group had higher h-index ($0 vs. $1–$1k vs. $1k–$10k vs. >$10k: 5.0 vs. 6.6 vs. 9.6 vs. 16.8, P < 0.001) and m-index ($0 vs. $1–$1k vs. $1k–$10k vs. >$10k: 0.48 vs. 0.60 vs. 0.65 vs. 0.89, P < 0.001) scores than either the intermediate or the no compensation groups. Multivariable analysis of factors associated with increased industry compensation, including H-index and years active, identified both as having significant associations with physician payments [H-index (B = 0.073, P < 0.001); years active (B = 0.059, P < 0.001)]. Subgroup analysis of the highest annual earner group (>$250k/year) also demonstrated the highest overall h-index (27.6, P < 0.001) and m-index (1.23, P = 0.047) scores, even when compared with other high-earners ($10k–$50k, $50k–$250k). Overall, each increase in h-index above an h-index of 3 was associated with an additional $1722 (95% CI: $1298–2146) of annual industry compensation.


Academic productivity metrics have a positive association with industry compensation for Orthopaedic Traumatologists. This may highlight a potential ancillary benefit to scholarly efforts.

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