Scholarly Activity During Pediatric Fellowship

Pediatrics. 2021 Jan;147(1):e2020013953. doi: 10.1542/peds.2020-013953. Epub 2020 Dec 1.


Background and objectives: The educational requirements for pediatric fellows include at least 12 months of scholarly activity and generation of a work product. Yet there lacks detailed guidance on how programs can best integrate scholarly activity training into fellowships. Our objectives were to understand the resources and barriers to training and identify factors associated with productivity.

Methods: We surveyed pediatric fellowship program directors (FPDs) nationally in 2019. Data analysis included descriptive statistics, χ2 and Fisher's exact tests, and multivariable modeling to identify factors associated with high productivity (>75% of fellows in the past 5 years had an article from their fellowship accepted).

Results: A total of 499 of 770 FPDs responded (65%). A total of 174 programs (35%) were highly productive. The most frequent major barriers were a lack of funding for fellows to conduct scholarship (21%, n = 105) and lack of sufficient divisional faculty mentorship (16%, n = 79). The median number of months for scholarship with reduced clinical obligations scholarship was 17. A total of 40% (n = 202) of FPDs believed training should be shortened to 2 years for clinically oriented fellows. Programs with a T32 and a FPD with >5 publications in the past 3 years were twice as likely to be productive. Not endorsing lack of adequate Scholarship Oversight Committee expertise and a research curriculum as barriers was associated with increased productivity (odds ratio = 1.83-1.65).

Conclusions: Despite significant protected fellow research time, most fellows do not publish. Ensuring a program culture of research may provide the support needed to take projects to publication. The fellowship community may consider reevaluating the fellowship duration, particularly for those pursing nonresearch focused careers.

MeSH terms

  • Fellowships and Scholarships*
  • Humans
  • Mentors / statistics & numerical data
  • Pediatrics* / education
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling
  • Publishing / statistics & numerical data*
  • Research Support as Topic / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States