Leadership in neurology: A social network analysis

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4 Scopus citations


Editor's Note Traditionally, most career development articles, such as those in the NeuroGenesis feature in this journal, are aimed at junior faculty members who are just starting out in the field. Of course, career development is not a process that stops once one has been promoted beyond the junior ranks, but is rather a continual effort to refine the characteristics of one's academic position until it approximates more and more closely one's ideal job description, even at the most senior levels. This research article by Amar Dhand and colleagues analyzes the origins of occupants of two positions that represent in their own distinct ways the pinnacle of American neurology - the presidencies of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Neurological Association - and should be of interest to readers at all stages of their careers. - NeuroGenesis Editor. Objective Two important leadership posts in American neurology are the presidents of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and the American Neurological Association (ANA). In this article, we use social network analysis, based on graph theory, to map the professional ties of presidents of the AAN and ANA since 1948. We examined whether institution ranking was related to being president of either organization, and whether there were core groups of presidents, institutions of employment during presidency, or training programs (residency and fellowship) in the combined and separate AAN and ANA networks. Methods Using archival data, we constructed a series of relational tables of the presidents and their affiliations. We used a chi-square analysis to test the relation between institution ranking and organization affiliation. For network data, we used a 2-mode analysis with measures of node, dyad, and network characteristics. Results ANA presidents were more likely to be employed at ranked institutions compared to AAN presidents. Ten presidents bridged both organizations, and therefore had the highest centrality in the combined network. Presidents trained in a core group of similar residency and fellowship programs that included Harvard, Columbia, Cornell, and Mayo Clinic for AAN presidents, and Harvard, Columbia, Yale, and University College London for ANA presidents. In contrast, during their presidency, AAN and ANA presidents worked at a diffuse set of institutions without a core group. Interpretation Training programs are leadership hubs, and should be targeted to develop future presidents and influence trends in the neurology leadership network. Ann Neurol 2014;75:342-350

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-350
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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