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Have passport, will travel: Global health piques more pediatricians’ interest :

February 28, 2020

A growing portion of pediatricians are interested in global health experiences, according to recently published findings from the AAP Periodic Survey of Fellows (Chan K, et al. Pediatrics.2020;145:e20191655,https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2019-1655).

Nearly a third of pediatricians surveyed in 2017 indicated they were interested in participating in a global health experience in a low- or middle-income country in the next three years, up from 25% in 1989 (see figure).

Along with increased interest, more pediatricians report having participated in an overseas global health program in the past 12 months (5% in 2017 vs. 2% in 1989). The pediatricians in 2017 who were most likely to report global health participation in the past year included those ages 60 or older, subspecialists and respondents working in a medical school or hospital setting.

The 2017 survey collected information on pediatricians’ preferences for global health experiences. For experiences both with and without pay, most pediatricians preferred to participate for a month or shorter. When asked about potential global health activities, there was a strong preference for clinical care over research, teaching or administration, with eight out of 10 pediatricians indicating clinical care was their top choice.

The 2017 Periodic Survey was sent to approximately 1,600 nonretired U.S. AAP members and had a 47% response rate. The 1989 survey was mailed to 1,000 members and had a 71% response rate. The analysis was restricted to post-trainee respondents.

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