New England Surgical Society

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Where Are They Now? Charting Careers for 32 Years of NESS Podium Presentation Winners
*Erin M White, *Shawn Ahn, Peter S Yoo
Yale University, New Haven, CT

Objective: To describe the research and career trajectories of NESS Podium Presentation Award(formerly Resident Award) winners.
Design: Using the award list from NESS’ website, we used internet search, PubMed, and correspondence with current program directors to collect data about winning abstracts and authors.
Setting: 1987-present(81 abstracts, 77 awardees)
Main Outcome Measures: Summary statistics of awardee demographics, current positions, and publication history.
Results: 80.2%(n=65) of winning abstracts were for clinical research, 12.3%(n=10) for basic science, and 7.4%(n=6) for surgical education or history, spanning 14 different surgical specialties. At least 87.6%(n=71) resulted in peer-reviewed journal publication.Among awardees, 74.0%(n=57) were residents and 14.3%(n=11) fellows, representing 19 training institutions. The remainder included 7.8%(n=6) research fellows and 3.9%(n=3) students. Four awardees subsequently earned a second award, all were female; therefore, women made up 40.2%(n=35/77) of awardees but received 43.2%(n=39/81) of awards.Awardees demonstrated a low attrition rate, with 71.4%(n=55/77) practicing surgery as attendings and 18.2%(n=14/77) still in surgical training. They work in 14 different surgical subspecialties with only 35.9%(n=23/64) pursuing the same subspecialty as their winning abstract. Remaining awardees work in other medical specialties, in biomedical industry, or as post-doctoral researchers, representing 2.6%(n=2/77) for each. At least 57.6%(n=34/59) of attendings hold university-affiliated faculty positions. 44.2%(n=34/77) of awardees reside in New England.
Conclusions: NESS attracts a range of high quality abstracts, and top abstract winners go on to a range of successful careers. Winning the NESS Podium Presentation award likely reflects a propensity for academic surgery, as a majority continue in surgical careers as university faculty. We noted that many winners currently work in New England, demonstrating that NESS provides a valuable opportunity for trainees to network with potential collaborators and employers.


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