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Pediatr Res. 2019 Nov 30. doi: 10.1038/s41390-019-0703-2. [Epub ahead of print]

Engagement in research among pediatric subspecialists at the time of enrollment in maintenance of certification, 2009-2016.

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Department of Pediatrics, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA.
Division of Emergency Medicine, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.
Susan B. Meister Child Health Evaluation and Research (CHEAR) Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
American Board of Pediatrics, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.
Tufts Medical Center/School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA.
Division of General Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
Department of Health Management and Policy, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.



Amid concerns about the pediatrician-scientist workforce, we hypothesized that declining numbers of pediatric subspecialists devote at least 25% of their professional time to research with fewer younger and female pediatricians engaged in research over the study period.


Board-certified pediatricians enrolling online in the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP's) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program October 2009 through 2016 were invited to complete a survey with questions about the allocation of their professional time. Responses from individuals in the 14 ABP-certified subspecialties were analyzed. The number and proportions of respondents devoting 25-49% and 50% or more of professional time to research were calculated over time. Age and gender were also examined.


We analyzed 21,367 responses over 8 years. A small number of pediatric subspecialists engaged in research with 5.2-6.7% devoting 25-49% and 5.6-8.4% at least 50% of their professional time to research across subspecialties. There was no discernable increase or decrease over time or pattern by age or gender.


Less than 10% of pediatric medical subspecialists devote at least 50% of their professional time to research. Efforts to promote research among pediatric subspecialists have not increased the size of the population that reports engaging in research at this level.


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