Pediatric Cardiology Workforce Assessment Shows Increased Competition in Field

Fellowship training positions in the field pediatric cardiology should be contained at their current levels due to increased competition in the field, according to the U.S. Pediatric Cardiology 2015 Workforce Assessment released Nov. 28 by the ACC, the American Heart Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery, and the Society for Pediatric Cardiology Training Program Directors, and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Robert D. Ross, MD, FACC, chair of the writing committee, et al., surveyed all pediatric cardiologists with active email addresses who were registered as Board eligible or Board certified in pediatric cardiology with the American Board of Pediatrics. Questions addressed training, clinical practice, demographics, job searches and plans for physician staffing.

Of the 2,897 individuals contacted, 28 percent (823) completed the survey, with a higher response rate from program directors and division chiefs. The program directors reported that between 2013 and 2015, 59 percent of Fellows in Training (FITs) went on to additional subspecialty training following their three-year core training program. Of these FITs, 89 percent later accepted an academic position. Those who sought a job after the three-year core training found obtaining a job to be "somewhat difficult." The survey found that for those who completed sub-specialty training, the most difficult fields in which to find jobs were cardiac catheterization, electrophysiology and general cardiology, while critical care, heart failure/transplant and adult congenital cardiology were among the easiest fields.

The results of the survey also showed that no third or fourth year pediatric cardiology FIT has chosen a position outside of the field in the last two years. The division chiefs surveyed noted that 102 job openings were expected over the next 12 months, followed by 103 the following year.

Ross, et al., conclude that the "survey results confirm a tightening of the job market in the field while at the same time showing that all recent graduates found employment." They add that moving forward, "it will be crucial to continue to track the cardiology workforce to be able to optimize the training numbers relative to available positions."

Keywords: Heart Defects, Congenital, Adult, American Heart Association, Cardiac Catheterization, Cardiology, Child, Critical Care, Demography, Electrophysiology, Employment, Heart Failure, Pediatrics

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