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DOI: 10.1111/acem.12845


OBJECTIVES: Changes in health care delivery and graduate medical education have important consequences for the workforce in pediatric emergency medicine (PEM). This study compared career preparation and potential attrition of the PEM workforce with the prior assessment from 1998.

METHODS: An e-mail survey was sent to members of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Section on EM and to non-AAP members board certified in PEM. Information on demographics, practice characteristics and professional activities, career preparation, future plans, and burnout (using two validated screening questions) was analyzed using standard descriptive statistics.

RESULTS: Of 2,120 surveys mailed, 895 responses were received (40.8% response). Over half (53.7%) of respondents were female, compared with 44% in 1998. The majority (62.9%) practiced in the emergency department (ED) of a free-standing children's hospital. The distribution of professional activities was similar to that reported in 1998, with the majority of time (60%) spent in direct patient care. Half indicated involvement in research, and almost half had dedicated time for other activities, including emergency medical services (7.3%), disaster (6.9%), child abuse (5.0%), transport (3.6%), toxicology (2.3% of respondents), and other (13.6%); additionally, 21.3% had dedicated time for quality/safety. Respondents were highly satisfied (95.6%) with fellowship preparation for clinical care, but less satisfied with preparation for research (49.2%) and administration (38.7%). However, satisfaction with nonclinical training was higher for those within 10 years of medical school graduation. Forty-six percent plan to change clinical activity in the next 5 years, including reducing hours, changing shifts, or retiring. Overall, 11.9% of all respondents, including 20.1% of women and 2.6% of men (p < 0.001), report currently working part time. Large majorities endorsed feeling burned out at work (88.5%) or more callous toward people as a result of work (67.5%) at least monthly, with one in five reporting such feelings at least weekly.

CONCLUSIONS: While satisfaction with fellowship preparation for professional activities in PEM is improving, gaps remain in training in nonclinical skills. Symptoms of burnout are prevalent, and there is likely to be substantial attrition of PEM providers in the near future.

Journal Title

Academic emergency medicine : official journal of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine





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MeSH Keywords

Adult; Burnout, Professional; Child; Education, Medical, Graduate; Emergency Medical Services; Emergency Medicine; Fellowships and Scholarships; Female; Humans; Intensive Care Units, Pediatric; Male; Pediatrics


Burnout; Workforce; Emergency medicine