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Drs. Momaya and BrabstonEditors of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery and JBJS Open Access selected authors of the research “Disparities Among Industry's Highly Compensated Orthopaedic Surgeons” as the inaugural JBJS Open Access Award.

UAB authors of the awarded study include:

The JBJS notes that the article is a superb example of how they envisioned JBJS Open Access articles to appear and sets a high standard that future authors will strive to attain. Lead author Brent Ponce, M.D., was also awarded a cash stipend.

Authors note that the purpose of their research was to assess possible relationships between industry payments and orthopaedic surgeon gender, subspecialty training, and practice settings.

The team utilized a publicly-available website developed in conjunction with the U.S. Affordable Care Act that sheds light on payments from industry to physicians with the goal of increasing transparency. They used retrospective analysis as well as statistical analyses to investigate the factors that contribute to payment differences across orthopaedic surgeons.

Authors found that orthopaedic surgeons in the subspecialties of spine (32.9 percent), adult reconstruction (27.9 percent), and sports medicine (14.5 percent) made up a majority of the 25 highest earners. They also note that orthopaedic surgeons who subspecialize in sports medicine had significantly higher total mean payment amounts when compared with all other specialties.

While this study focused on compensation in relation to specialty, authors note that additional studies are warranted to evaluate the disparities between men and women and encourage policies to promote gender equality.