The issues of importance in selecting a first job for new pediatric subspecialists, and their ability to find positions that match their professional and clinical goals, are unknown. The objectives were to (1) describe current employment patterns, practice characteristics, factors influencing choice of first position, and future work goals of new pediatric subspecialists; and (2) examine the relationship of these variables with the actual professional time allocation and clinical responsibilities compared with the desired first job.
The authors surveyed 3010 individuals sitting for ≥1 of the 14 subspecialty certification exams. The main outcomes were (1) most important factors in choosing employment; (2) ability to gain employment in positions that matched their goals; and (3) variation in employment characteristics among men versus women, time since completion of training, and part-time versus full-time status.
Response rate was 97%. Lifestyle/spousal or family considerations was the factor identified as most important in the choice of first position after fellowship training for half of respondents (50%; n = 1277). There was a median of 75% of actual time spent in direct and/or consultative inpatient or outpatient care, with 5% in medical education, 5% in administration, and 5% in research. A majority (74%; n = 1825) reported this proportion to be approximately what they wanted. Most respondents (89%; n = 2194) reported that their allocation of patient care responsibilities (ie, inpatient versus outpatient) was approximately what they wanted.
A large majority of pediatric subspecialists found initial positions matching their goals for professional responsibilities and clinical care.