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Original Investigation |

Practice Patterns and Projections for the US Pediatric Otolaryngology Workforce

Jason R. Bell, MD1; Holly Ruch-Ross, ScD2; Andrew J. Hotaling, MD1
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL
2American Academy of Pediatrics, Division on Workforce and Medical Education Policy, Evanston, Illinois
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2016;142(9):823-827. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2016.1163.
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Importance  This study represents up-to-date information on the current status of and future projections for the pediatric otolaryngology workforce.

Objective  To provide an update on the practice patterns of and projections for the US pediatric otolaryngology workforce.

Design, Setting, and Participants  An online survey was sent to all 172 members of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery and fielded from May 29, 2014, to September 17, 2014.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Current status of and perceived trends in the pediatric otolaryngology workforce

Results  Eighty-four (48.8%) of the 172 members responded to the survey. Not all respondents answered all questions, and so totals and percentages might not reflect a total of 84 for any given response. The demographics and practice characteristics of the responding pediatric otolaryngologists were similar to those noted in a 1997 workforce survey. Fifty-four percent of respondents (n = 38) planned to continue full-time work over the next 5 years, and 47% (n = 31) believed that the number of patients in their practice was increasing. The proportion of those who believed that the need for pediatric otolaryngologists in their community was increasing (31%; n = 21) or decreasing (13%; n = 9) remained relatively constant from the 1997 survey (34% and 12%, respectively). Forty-nine percent (n = 35) reported believing that the number of pediatric otolaryngologists being trained was appropriate and that the need in their community was stable. Eighty-three percent (n = 55) reported believing that employment opportunities for pediatric otolaryngologists in the United States would be plentiful in the near future.

Conclusions and Relevance  The overall state of the pediatric otolaryngology workforce appears stable. The perceived current and future needs for pediatric otolaryngologists appear to be met by the current number of trainees. Employment opportunities appear promising for future pediatric otolaryngologists based on our respondents’ opinions. This represents up-to-date information on the current status of and future projections for the pediatric otolaryngology workforce.

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Figure 1.
Reasons Why Pediatric Otolaryngologists Chose Their Current Jobs

A total of 71 respondents replied to this survey question; each respondent was able to choose multiple reasons.

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Figure 2.
Conditions Treated by Pediatric Otolaryngologists

A total of 61 respondents replied to this survey question. Airway/swallowing issues were those unrelated to adenotonsillar disease. Otologic problems were those other than otitis media. Respondents’ answers had to total 100%, and the response averages are illustrated here.

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Figure 3.
Opinions on Future Employment Opportunities for Pediatric Otolaryngologists

A total of 66 respondents replied to this survey question. Dark blue bars indicate respondents’ opinions on employment opportunities within their community in the next 3 years; light blue bars indicate respondents’ opinions on national employment opportunities in the next 3 years.

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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