Employment search, initial employment experience, and career preferences of recent pediatric surgical fellowship graduates: An APSA survey, part of the right child/right surgeon initiative

Abigail E. Martin, Christian S. McEvoy, Kimberly Lumpkins, Stefan Scholz, Anthony L. DeRoss, Claudia Emami, Michael R. Phillips, Faisal Qureshi, Brian W. Gray, Shawn D. Safford, Patrick J. Healey, Samuel M. Alaish, Stephen P. Dunn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: APSA's Right Child/Right Surgeon Initiative addresses issues concerning patient access to appropriate pediatric surgical care and workforce distribution. The APSA Workforce Committee sought to understand the experiences and motivations of recent graduates of Pediatric Surgery Training Programs entering the workforce. Methods: Using APSA membership databases, we identified members who completed fellowship training from 2010 to 2019. An online survey was created using Survey Monkey, and invitations to participate were sent via email. Results: 144 of 447 invited participants responded (32% response rate). 91% of respondents participated in dedicated research prior to fellowship, but only 64% perform research during their employment. 23% completed an additional clinical fellowship, but only 54% currently practice within the second field. When asked to identify the top three factors used to choose a position, the most common responses were “location or geography” (71%), “available mentorship” (53%), and “compensation and benefits” (37%). Describing their first position, 77% reported working in an academic institution, 78% reported working in a metropolitan/urban area, and 55% reported working in a free-standing children's hospital. 94% participate in General Surgery resident education, and 49% are faculty within a Pediatric Surgery fellowship. Overall, 92% of respondents were able to find the type of employment position that they had wanted. Conclusion: In our survey the overwhelming majority of young pediatric surgeons found the type of job they desired. Most report beginning their practice in more populated, urban areas within academic institutions. Geographic location and work environment played heavily into their employment decisions. These preferences could contribute to continued disparity in access to pediatric surgeons between urban and rural America and to dilution of experience for urban surgeons. Possible solutions include alternative incentive programs for employment in less populated areas or new training models for general surgeons in rural areas to train in fundamentals of Pediatric Surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Access to surgical care
  • Level of evidence
  • Level V
  • Pediatric surgical training
  • Specialization
  • Sub-specialization
  • Survey
  • Type of study
  • Workforce

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery

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