American Journal of Kidney Diseases

The US Pediatric Nephrology Workforce: A Report Commissioned by the American Academy of Pediatrics

Published:April 22, 2015DOI:
      The US pediatric nephrology workforce is poorly characterized. This report describes clinical and nonclinical activities, motivations and disincentives to a career in pediatric nephrology, future workforce needs, trainee recruitment, and possible explanations for personnel shortages. An e-mail survey was sent in 2013 to all identified US-trained or -practicing pediatric nephrologists. Of 504 respondents, 51% are men, 66% are US graduates, and 73% work in an academic setting. About 20% of trained pediatric nephrologists no longer practice pediatric nephrology. Among the 384 respondents practicing pediatric nephrology full or part-time in the United States, the mean work week was 56.1 ± 14.3 hours, with time divided between patient care (59%), administration (13%), teaching (10%), clinical research (9%), basic research (6%), and other medical activities (3%). Most (>85%) care for dialysis and transplantation patients. The median number of weeks annually on call is 16, and 29% work with one or no partner. One-third of US pediatric nephrologists (n = 126) plan to reduce or stop clinical nephrology practice in the next 5 years, and 53% plan to fully or partially retire. Almost half the division chiefs (47%) report inadequate physician staffing. Ongoing efforts to monitor and address pediatric nephrology workforce issues are needed.

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