Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Supply of and Demand for Pediatric Subspecialists in the United States

Photo by Logan Tuttle, via Wikimedia Commons
The workforce need in pediatrics remains a topic of great discussion amongst all of us nowadays based
on yearly data gathered by organizations, like the American Board of Pediatrics, that looks at who is entering and leaving our field overall as well breaking the data down for each subspecialty field in pediatrics. Yet how does the supply of subspecialists in the pediatric pipeline equate to the demand for those providers?

Ray et al. (doi: 10.1542/peds. 2013-3466) use data from the National Survey of Children with Special Health Needs while controlling for many confounders, to look at the association between supply and parent-reported demand in US residential counties. The results may surprise you and perhaps help you better understand how supply and demand relate to each other (or don’t, if you read the article carefully) in regard to how counties with the lowest supply of subspecialists are perceived by parents in regard to their utilization of these subspecialists.

If you are thinking about becoming a subspecialist and wonder where the need is greatest, this is a study that deserves your special (or subspecial) attention.

Related Reading:
Pediatrics: AAP Policy Statement: Pediatrician Workforce Statement
Pediatrics: The Pediatric Subspecialty Workforce: Public Policy and Forces for Change

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