The future of the pediatric workforce has been the subject of significant dialogue in the pediatric community and generated much discussion in the academic literature. There are significant concerns regarding the ability of pediatricians to meet the growing demands of our pediatric population. Over the past 5 years, there has been a decline in the percentage of doctor of osteopathic medicine students who pursue a career in pediatrics but an equally important increase in the number of pediatric positions that are filled by doctor of osteopathic medicine students and international medical graduates. Although there has been an increase in the number of pediatric positions offered in the National Resident Matching Program, the last 4 years have seen a significant increase in the number of unfilled pediatric positions. A number of pediatric subspecialties struggle to fill their training positions, and those with low match rates may have 20% to 40% fewer applicants than positions. The pediatric vision for the future must include a commitment to a comprehensive strategic planning process with the many organizations involved across the multiple stages of the educational continuum. It is time to elucidate and address the questions raised by the workforce data. Developing solutions to these questions will require a careful planning process and a thoughtful analysis of the pediatric workforce data. Establishing this as an important priority will require a major collaborative effort between pediatric academic and professional organizations, but the future benefit to the nation’s children will be significant.

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Video Abstract

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