The growing pediatrician shortage

Nurse practitioner to examine national shortage of pediatricians

Tuesday, Aug 02, 2022 • Neph Rivera : Contact

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An assistant professor in the College of Nursing and Health Innovation (CONHI) is part of a national group trying to understand why there is a growing shortage of pediatricians.

Kristin Gigli is serving on the National Academy of Medicine’s Committee on the Pediatric Subspecialty Workforce and Its Impact on Child Health and Well-Being. The committee will examine how the pediatric workforce has evolved over time in general pediatrics and pediatric subspecialties, including a focus on diversity and geographic distribution, gaps in the pediatric workforce that may hinder optimal outcomes for pediatric patients, and strategies and technologies to ensure equitable patient access to pediatric expertise, among other topics.

Over the past five years, the number of medical students pursuing a career in pediatrics has declined, even as the number of pediatric positions available has increased. It’s considered the only major medical discipline experiencing this shortage. In addition, pediatric specialties such as pulmonology and child abuse aftercare now have 20% to 40% more jobs available than applicants.

The committee will recommend strategies and actions to ensure an adequate pediatric clinical and research workforce to support broad access to high-quality care and a robust research portfolio to advance the care of all children and youth.

“It's exciting for me to bring my expertise as a nurse practitioner to this report,” Gigli said. “I have been part of the workforce group that has been building momentum toward getting this report put together and off the ground.”

Written by Amanda Wenzel, College of Nursing and Health Innovation