Career Development Support in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine: A National Survey of Fellows and Junior Faculty*

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Abstract

Objectives:

To determine the perceptions of current pediatric critical care medicine fellows and junior faculty regarding the extent and quality of career development support received during fellowship training.

Design:

Web-based cross-sectional survey open from September to November 2015.

Setting:

Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-accredited pediatric critical care medicine fellowship programs.

Subjects:

Pediatric critical care medicine fellows (second yr or higher) and junior faculty (within 5 yr of completing a pediatric critical care medicine fellowship program).

Interventions:

None.

Measurements and Main Results:

There were 129 respondents to the survey, representing 63% of Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-accredited pediatric critical care medicine fellowship programs. Respondents were evenly divided between fellows and junior faculty. Nearly, half (49%) of respondents reported that their pediatric critical care medicine fellowship program provided a formal career development curriculum. Ideal career tracks chosen included academic clinician educator (64%), physician-scientist (27%), community-based (nonacademic) clinician (11%), and administrator (11%). There was a disparity in focused career development support provided by programs, with a minority providing good support for those pursuing a community-based clinician track (32%) or administrator track (16%). Only 43% of fellows perceived that they have a good chance of obtaining their ideal pediatric critical care medicine position, with the most common perceived barrier being increased competition for limited job opportunities. Most respondents expressed interest in a program specific to pediatric critical care medicine career development that is sponsored by a national professional organization.

Conclusions:

Most pediatric critical care medicine fellows and junior faculty reported good to excellent career development support during fellowship. However, important gaps remain, particularly for those pursuing community-based (nonacademic) and administrative tracks. Fellows were uncertain regarding future pediatric critical care medicine employment and their ability to pursue ideal career tracks. There may be a role for professional organizations to provide additional resources for career development in pediatric critical care medicine.

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