Perspectives from the Society for Pediatric Research: advice on sustaining science and mentoring during COVID-19

Pediatr Res. 2021 Oct;90(4):738-743. doi: 10.1038/s41390-020-01321-5. Epub 2021 Jan 19.


The COVID-19 pandemic will leave an indelible mark on the careers of current medical trainees. Given the disruptions to medical education, economic impact on institutions, and the uncertainties around future job prospects, trainees are facing unprecedented challenges. This situation is especially concerning for futures of pediatric physician-scientist trainees, where concerns regarding maintaining the pipeline were well documented prior to the emergence of COVID-19. In this Perspectives article, we leverage the unique expertise of our workgroup to address concerns of physician-scientist trainees and to provide suggestions on how to navigate career trajectories in the post-COVID-19 era. We identified and addressed four major areas of concern: lack of in-person conferences and the associated decrease access to mentors and networking activities, decreased academic productivity, diminished job prospects, and mental health challenges. We also suggest actions for trainees, mentors and educational leaders, and institutions to help support trainees during the pandemic, with a goal of maintaining the pediatric physician-scientist pipeline.

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research / education*
  • COVID-19*
  • Career Mobility
  • Education, Medical, Graduate*
  • Efficiency
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Mental Health
  • Mentors*
  • Pediatricians / education*
  • Pediatricians / psychology
  • Pediatrics / education*
  • Societies, Medical