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Pediatrics. 2012 Mar;129(3):522-8. doi: 10.1542/peds.2010-3603. Epub 2012 Feb 6.

Pediatric training and career intentions, 2003-2009.

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  • 1American Academy of Pediatrics, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007, USA.



To examine trends in pediatric residents' training and job search experiences from 2003 through 2009.


Annual national random samples of 500 graduating pediatric residents from 2003 through 2005 and 1000 from 2006 through 2009 were surveyed. Responses were compared across years to identify trends. We examined resident demographics, training, satisfaction, career intentions, and job search experiences. Overall response rate was 61%.


Between 2003 and 2009, there was an increase in the proportion of female graduating pediatric residents (69%-75%), residents from international medical schools (15%-23%), and levels of educational debt among the subgroup of residents with debt ($139 945 in 2003 to $166 972 in 2009). Residents consistently reported (>90% of residents) that they would choose pediatrics again if they had the choice. By 2009, the majority was very satisfied with the quality of their training in most areas, with ratings improving across years in caring for children with special health care needs, evidence-based medicine, and using information technology in practice. Although primary care remained the most common clinical practice goal, there was a modest decline in interest in primary care practice across survey years, whereas interest in subspecialty practice increased. Residents accepting both general pediatric practice and hospitalist positions reported less difficulty in their job search over time.


Despite continually changing demographics of pediatric training programs, residents overall remain very satisfied with their decision to become pediatricians. Pediatricians continue to face difficult financial challenges associated with rising debt, but they also report increasing job search success.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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