Data collected by the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) about the pediatric workforce provide the backbone for a new series of fact sheets developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The 50 fact sheets — one for each state— illustrate the impact of pediatric subspecialty shortages on children’s access to health care.
The fact sheets show how far children in each state might need to travel to see a pediatric subspecialist, and they outline the financial disincentives to pediatric subspecialty training.
In a note to its members, the AAP said the fact sheets would be used to “encourage Congress to fund the Pediatric Subspecialty Loan Repayment Program, which will offer loan repayment for pediatric subspecialists who serve children in underserved areas.”
“Addressing disparities in access to subspecialty care and improving health equity for children align with the mission of the ABP,” says Laurel Leslie, ABP Vice President for Research. “Although the ABP is not an advocacy organization, we were happy to share our data to support the AAP’s effort.”
Many families who need pediatric subspecialty care for their children must take time off work and travel long distances,1 wait months for an appointment, or go without subspecialist care.
The ABP and AAP also collaborated to create a series of maps — one for each state for 17 different pediatric subspecialties — to graphically show the estimated driving distances for children to reach the care they need. The full U.S. maps are also available on the ABP’s website and are a supplement to the original research.
“The fact sheets and the maps are based on data similar to the content available through our data dashboards on the ABP website,” says Adam Turner, ABP Senior Research Program Manager. “For the AAP series of maps, we modified one of our dashboards to allow users to link to or select a specific state and subspecialty combination."
Turner spearheaded the project, which was partially funded by the ABP Foundation.