Workforce Trends and Analysis of Selected Pediatric Subspecialties in the United States

Acad Pediatr. 2018 Sep-Oct;18(7):805-812. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2018.04.008. Epub 2018 Apr 27.


Objective: To update pediatric subspecialty workforce data to support evidence-based legislation and public policy decisions by replicating the American Academy of Pediatrics' 1998 Future of Pediatric Education (FOPE II) workforce survey.

Methods: A descriptive and comparative analysis of survey responses from 9950 US pediatric subspecialists who completed an electronic survey.

Results: Pediatric subspecialists are working fewer hours and spending less of their time in direct patient care than they did in 1998 but the mean hours worked differs significantly according to subspecialty. Most subspecialists continue to be board-certified, white, non-Hispanic men, although the percentage who are women and from minority groups has increased. The proportion of subspecialists practicing in an academic medical center has increased since 1998. Thirty percent of pediatric subspecialists reported appointment wait times of >2 weeks and pediatric subspecialists in developmental pediatrics, endocrinology, and neurology identified much longer wait times than other subspecialists.

Conclusion: The demographic and practice characteristics of pediatric subspecialists have changed since the FOPE II survey and access to subspecialty care in a family's community remains a challenge. However, pediatric subspecialties are not monolithic and solutions to workforce shortages will need to take into account these differences to improve access to subspecialty care.

Keywords: academic pediatricians; access; pediatric subspecialists; physician workforce.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent Medicine / education
  • Adolescent Medicine / trends
  • Appointments and Schedules*
  • Cardiology / education
  • Cardiology / trends
  • Career Choice
  • Critical Care
  • Endocrinology / education
  • Endocrinology / trends
  • Female
  • General Surgery / education
  • General Surgery / trends
  • Health Workforce / trends*
  • Hospital Medicine / education
  • Hospital Medicine / trends
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nephrology / education
  • Nephrology / trends
  • Neurology
  • Orthopedics / education
  • Orthopedics / trends
  • Otolaryngology / education
  • Otolaryngology / trends
  • Pediatric Emergency Medicine / trends
  • Pediatrics / education
  • Pediatrics / trends*
  • Pulmonary Medicine / education
  • Pulmonary Medicine / trends
  • Specialization
  • United States
  • Workload