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Pediatric specialties fill nearly 80% of fellowship positions in 2023 match

December 1, 2023

Pediatric specialties filled 79% of certified positions offered (1,487 of 1,878) in the 2023 Medicine and Pediatric Specialties Match, a decrease of 5.5% compared to last year.

Pediatric cardiology and pediatric hospital medicine rose to the top of the list, filling more than 95% of their positions.

Pediatric infectious disease programs filled only 48% of positions, a 1.3 percentage point decrease from last year and similar to a downward trend in fill rates for adult infectious disease.

In addition, developmental-behavioral pediatrics filled only 55% of positions.

This year’s program placed 7,700 residents into fellowship training for 38 subspecialties through the National Resident Matching Program, according to the 2023 Medicine and Pediatric Specialties Match Results Report. There were 3,482 programs — an all-time high — that certified a rank order list, a 3.6% increase from 2022. In all, the programs offered more than 9,000 positions, 344 more than the previous year — a nearly 4% increase.

Of the 9,068 positions, 7,723 (85.2%) were filled. While the number of programs and positions increased by more than 3%, the number of applicants certifying a rank order list rose by only 35 applicants, or 0.4%.

Other pediatric highlights

  • Other pediatric programs that filled more than 80% of their positions were pediatric critical care, 92.4%; neonatal-perinatal medicine, 88.7%; pediatric emergency medicine (pediatrics), 86.5%; and pediatric transplant hepatology, 81.3%.
  • Allergy and immunology fellowships, which accept applicants from either pediatrics or internal medicine, had a 99.4% position fill rate, up 1.3% over 2022.
  • Sixty applicants (3.9%) preferring pediatrics did not match to any program.

Call to action

“With approximately 20% of pediatric fellowship positions unfilled in this year’s match, concern continues to exist regarding the ability to meet pediatric subspecialty needs of children in the future,” said Harold K. Simon, M.D., FAAP, chair of the AAP Committee on Pediatric Workforce.

This is particularly important, he added, in areas such as pediatric infectious diseases and developmental-behavioral pediatrics, where roughly half remained unfilled.

“Strategies to enhance our pathways into careers in pediatrics and especially these under-filled subspecialties take on great importance,” said Dr. Simon, professor and vice chair for faculty in the Department of Pediatrics at Emory University in Atlanta, where he also is interim director of the Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine. 

“Without an equitable workforce across all pediatric subspecialties, those most vulnerable among us, children and their families, will be at risk of not having their subspecialty health care needs adequately met,” Dr. Simon said.

He suggested that the recent National Academies report “The Pediatric Subspecialty Workforce and Its Impact on Child Health and Well-Being” could serve as a potential guide and call to action.



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