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Pediatrics. 2015 Oct;136(4):672-9. doi: 10.1542/peds.2014-3973. Epub 2015 Sep 7.

Early Career Experiences of Pediatricians Pursuing or Not Pursuing Fellowship Training.

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Department of Pediatrics, Indiana University, Indianapolis, Indiana;
Department of Pediatrics, Indiana University Health La Porte, La Porte, Indiana; and.
Department of Research, American Academy of Pediatrics, Elk Grove Village, Illinois.



Choosing career paths can be difficult decisions for residents contemplating fellowship training. This study compares the experiences of early career pediatricians who did and did not pursue fellowships.


We analyzed national, weighted data from pediatricians 8 to 10 years after residency (n = 842). Work environment, work-life balance, and satisfaction were compared for pediatricians who had pursued fellowship training (fellowship trained) and those who did not pursue fellowship training (generalist trained). Logistic and linear regression examined the independent effects of fellowship training while controlling for demographic differences.


A total of 39% of the pediatricians (328/842) pursued fellowship training. The fellowship-trained group was less likely than the generalist-trained group to spend time in direct patient care and more likely to report learning opportunities in their work environment. This group was also more likely to report an income of ≥$150,000, although no difference was found when only full-time pediatricians were examined. Generalist-trained pediatricians were more likely to work <50 hours per week, have flexibility with their schedules, and be satisfied with time spent with their own children. Pediatricians in both the fellowship-trained and generalist-trained groups generally found their work to be rewarding and were satisfied with their lives.


Although residents need to consider important life and career differences when contemplating fellowship training and general care, pediatricians in both groups can achieve overall life and career satisfaction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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