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Long-term Plans for Those Selecting Hospital Medicine as an Initial Career Choice

Authors: 
Freed GL, McGuinness GA, Althouse LA, Moran LM, Spera L
Year: 
2015
Journal: 
Hospital Pediatrics
Pub Med #: 
Abstract: 

Background
The proportion of the newly graduated pediatric workforce that becomes hospitalists has been increasing slightly over the past decade. However, it is unknown what proportion of those who accept hospitalist positions as their first job intend to remain in the field longer term. This is important to workforce projections regarding the magnitude of those who will function in this role.

Methods
The American Board of Pediatrics incorporated a structured questionnaire within the online application process to the General Pediatrics certification application. Respondents identified as residents or chief residents who selected "hospitalist position" as their immediate postresidency plan were the focus this study. We compared survey responses by gender and location of the medical school attended.

Results
Since the initiation of the general pediatrics certification examination application survey, 6335 completed the questionnaire. 79% (n=5001) were either in residency training or were a chief resident. Of those, 8% (n=376) reported they planned to work as a pediatric hospitalist immediately after completing residency. Fewer than half (43%; n=161) reported this to be their long-term career plan. This finding varied by both medical school type and by gender.

Conclusions
The majority of pediatric residents and chief residents who take hospitalist positions immediately after training do not intend for hospital practice to be the long-term focus of their careers. As the field of hospital medicine continues to develop, understanding career trajectories can help inform current and future efforts regarding the potential for different mechanisms for training and certification.