Objective: To compare the job search experience and career plans of medicine-pediatrics (med-peds) and pediatric residents.
Study design: Annual surveys of graduating med-peds and pediatric residents were compared from 2003 and 2004.
Results: The survey response rates were 58% for med-peds residents (n = 427) and 61% for pediatric residents (n = 611). Pediatric residents were more likely to be female or an International Medical Graduate. The groups were equally satisfied with their career choice and had equivalent debt. Med-peds residents were more likely to seek and accept generalist and hospitalist positions. Pediatric residents were more likely to seek subspecialty careers and research opportunities. More than 94% of med-peds residents expected to care for pediatric patients. Among residents seeking generalist positions, med-peds residents sent half as many applications to get the same number of interviews and offers as pediatric residents, were more likely to be offered their most desired position, and were more likely to accept a position in a rural area/small town. Med-peds residents had substantially greater starting salaries as hospitalists or generalists compared with pediatric residents.
Conclusion: Med-peds and pediatric trainees differ in their career plans, although primary care is their most popular choice. Med-peds- trained physicians have an easier job search experience and greater market valuation.