To determine the attitudes and practices of pediatric orthopaedic surgeons regarding on-call coverage and emergency fracture management.Methods:
A 32-question online survey was sent to all 597 active members of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America. There were 296 completed surveys, for a response rate of 49.6%.Results:
Of the respondents, 85.1% were male. The respondents ranged in age from 30 to older than 70 years, with 54% between 36and 50 years of age, corresponding to an average of 15 years in practice. Seventy-seven percent of the respondents felt that taking trauma call is an integral aspect of being a pediatric orthopaedist. Of the respondents, 64.9% take call 1 to 9 times per month, 15.8% take 10 to 19 calls, 2.7% take 20 or more, and 16.6% take no call. The number of orthopaedists taking call per practice was fairly evenly distributed between 3 and 10. Call was shared equally in 32% of practices, and mandatory in 72%. Twenty-eight percent of the respondents were additionally compensated for taking calls, in amounts ranging from $100 to $2000 per night, with 1000 dollars the most common rate. One third of operative cases are done that night; one third, the next day; and one third, later in the week. Twenty-four percent of the respondents have dedicated operative block time on the day after the call. Forty-seven percent have a dedicated fracture clinic, of which 51% receive institutional support.Conclusions:
Providing emergency trauma care for children is an integral aspect of pediatric orthopaedics. This survey provides information on the attitudes and strategies of practicing pediatric orthopaedic surgeons in the face of decreasing manpower and increasing demand for such services.