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Survey highlights pediatricians’ international backgrounds

March 1, 2024

A growing portion of pediatricians’ patients are immigrant children, with nearly one-quarter of U.S. children either born or having a parent who was born outside the country. Less is known about what portion of pediatricians have international backgrounds.

Surveys of 2,425 participants in the AAP Pediatrician Life and Career Experience Study (PLACES) show that pediatricians have diverse, international backgrounds (see figure).

  • Overall, one in five PLACES pediatricians was born outside the United States, and 40% have at least one parent born outside the United States.
  • Half of Asian, 36% of Hispanic, 29% of Black and 9% of white, non-Hispanic pediatricians were born outside the United States.
  • Nearly all (95%) Asian, 68% of Hispanic, 45% of Black and 15% of white, non-Hispanic pediatricians had a parent born outside the United States.

Pediatricians with international backgrounds are more likely than those without to be proficient in a language other than English (58% vs. 20%). In addition, those with international backgrounds cared for a higher percentage of families in 2022 who experience limited proficiency using English (mean: 25% vs. 17%) and who have immigrated to the U.S. (mean: 31% vs. 19%).

PLACES, launched in 2012, is an AAP cohort study that tracks the career and life choices and experiences of pediatricians across their careers. Cohorts include both AAP members and nonmembers. Participating pediatricians graduated residency in 2016-’18, 2009-’11 and 2002-’04. Their average age in 2023 was 44 years.

For more information on PLACES, visit http://www.aap.org/places or contact Liz Gottschlich at places@aap.org or 630-626-6627.

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