Video Abstract

Video Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Our 2011 report, reflecting data from 2007–2008, demonstrated that, for many pediatric subspecialties, pursuing fellowship training was a negative financial decision when compared with practicing as a general pediatrician. We provide an updated analysis on the financial impact of pediatric fellowship training and model interventions that can influence the results.

METHODS:

We estimated the financial returns a graduating pediatric resident might anticipate from fellowship training followed by a career as a pediatric subspecialist and compared them with the returns expected from starting a career as a general pediatrician immediately after residency. We evaluated the potential effects of eliminating medical school debt, shortening the length of fellowship training, and implementing a federal loan repayment program for pediatric subspecialists. We compared the financial returns of subspecialty training in 2018–2019 to those from our previous report.

RESULTS:

Pursuing fellowship training generated widely variable financial returns when compared with general pediatrics that ranged from +$852 129 for cardiology to −$1 594 366 for adolescent medicine. Twelve of 15 subspecialties analyzed yielded negative financial returns. The differences have become more pronounced over time: the spread between the highest and lowest earning subspecialties widened from >$1.4 million in 2007–2008 to >$2.3 million in 2018–2019. The negative financial impact of fellowship training could be partially ameliorated by shortening the length of training or by implementing pediatric subspecialist specific loan repayment programs.

CONCLUSIONS:

This report can be used to help guide trainees, educators, and policy makers. The interventions discussed could help maintain an adequate and balanced pediatric workforce.

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