Background: The emergency room on-call status of pediatric orthopaedic surgeons is an important factor affecting their practices and lifestyles and was last evaluated in 2006.
Methods: The entire membership of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA) was surveyed in 2010 for information regarding their emergency room on-call status with 382 surveys returned of over 1000 e-mailed to members of POSNA. Detailed information about on-call coverage, support, and frequency was obtained in answers to 14 different questions.
Results: Compared with the prior survey in 2006, the 2010 survey indicated that a higher percentage of pediatric orthopaedic surgeons receive compensation for taking emergency room call; a higher percentage cover pediatric patients only when on-call; and accessibility to operating rooms in a timely manner for trauma cases, although limited, has improved for pediatric patients. Utilization of support staff to meet on-call trauma coverage demands, such as residents, physician's assistants, and nurse practitioners, is becoming more common.
Conclusions: Concentration of pediatric orthopaedic trauma has increased the coverage demands on pediatric orthopaedists. This has resulted in a change in reimbursement strategies, and allocation of OR time and hospital staffing resources.