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Variation in Part-Time Work among Pediatric Subspecialties

Authors: 
Freed GL, Boyer DM, Van KD, Macy ML, McCormick JA, Leslie LK
Year: 
2018
Journal: 
Journal of Pediatrics
Pub Med #: 
Abstract: 

Objective
To assess the part-time workforce and average hours worked per week among pediatric subspecialists in the 15 medical subspecialties certified by the American Board of Pediatrics.

Study Design
We examined data from pediatric subspecialists who enrolled in Maintenance of Certification with the American Board of Pediatrics from 2009 to 2015. Data were collected via an online survey. Providers indicated whether they worked full time or part time and estimated the average number of hours worked per week in clinical, research, education, and administrative tasks, excluding time on call. We calculated and compared the range of hours worked by those in full- and part-time positions overall, by demographic characteristics, and by subspecialty.

Results
Overall, 9.6% of subspecialists worked part time. There was significant variation in part-time employment rates between subspecialties, ranging from 3.8% among critical care pediatricians to 22.9% among developmental-behavioral pediatricians. Women, American medical graduates, and physicians older than 70 years of age reported higher rates of part-time employment than men, international medical graduates, and younger physicians. There was marked variation in the number of hours worked across subspecialties. Most, but not all, full-time subspecialists reported working at least 40 hours per week. More than one-half of physicians working part time in hematology and oncology, pulmonology, and transplant hepatology reported working at least 40 hours per week.

Conclusions
There are unique patterns of part-time employment and hours worked per week among pediatric medical subspecialists that make simple head counts inadequate to determine the effective workforce. Our findings are limited to the 15 American Board of Pediatrics-certified medical subspecialties.