Growth and changes in the pediatric medical subspecialty workforce pipeline

Michelle L. Macy*, Laurel K. Leslie, Adam Turner, Gary L. Freed

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background: To inform discussions of pediatric subspecialty workforce adequacy and characterize its pipeline, we examined trends in first-year fellows in the 14 American Board of Pediatrics (ABP)-certified pediatric medical subspecialties, 2001–2018. Methods: Data were obtained from the ABP Certification Management System. We determined, within each subspecialty, the annual number of first-year fellows. We assessed for changes in the population using variables available throughout the study period (gender, medical school location, program region, and program size). We fit linear trendlines and calculated χ2 statistics. Results: The number of first-year pediatric medical subspecialty fellows increased from 751 in 2001 to 1445 in 2018. Fields with the growth of 3 or more fellows per year were Cardiology, Critical Care, Emergency Medicine, Gastroenterology, Neonatology, and Hematology Oncology (P value <0.05 for all). The number of fellows entering Adolescent Medicine, Child Abuse, Infectious Disease, and Nephrology increased at a rate of 0.5 fellows or fewer per year. Female American Medical Graduates represented the largest and growing proportions of several subspecialties. Distribution of programs by region and size were relatively consistent over time, but varied across subspecialties. Conclusions: The number of pediatricians entering medical subspecialty fellowship training is uneven and patterns of growth differ between subspecialties. Impact: The number of individuals entering fellowship training has increased between 2001 and 2018.Growth in the number of first-year fellows is uneven.Fields with the greatest growth: Critical Care, Emergency Medicine, and Neonatology.Fields with limited growth: Adolescent Medicine, Child Abuse, Infectious Disease, and Nephrology.Concerns about the pediatric medical subspecialty workforce are not explained by the number of individuals entering the fellowship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1297-1303
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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