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Current Workforce of Pediatric Subspecialists in the United States

Freed GL, Moran LM, Van KD, Leslie LK; Research Advisory Committee of the American Board of Pediatrics
Pub Med #: 

Concerns exist regarding the adequacy of the pediatric subspecialty workforce in the United States. Data on practice patterns and job characteristics are necessary to help develop policies to ensure availability.

We performed survey data analysis of all pediatric subspecialists enrolled in Maintenance of Certification in 2013 and 2014, assessing demographic information, characteristics of current positions, plans for retirement, and satisfaction with allocation of professional and clinical responsibilities. Four logistic regression models examined the independent association of demographic variables collected along with variables of practice ownership and academic appointment with the outcome variables of pediatric subspecialists reporting match of desired with current actual professional duties, match of desired with current actual clinical responsibilities, current part-time employment, and expected age of retirement <65 years of age.

Data from 5100 subspecialists were analyzed (response rate 87.2%). Most (83%; N= 4251) reported their current allocation of professional time was what they desired in their current position; similarly, 93% (N = 4755) reported likewise for clinical responsibilities. Differences by gender and years in subspecialty were evident, with women much more likely to work part time than men (odds ratio 6.22); those >20 years in practice were less likely to retire before the age of 65 compared with those <10 years in practice (odds ratio 0.33).

This study is the largest to date of practicing pediatric subspecialists. Variation in work patterns found between genders, with time in practice, and between subspecialties suggests that future research should focus on these issues.