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Original Investigation
September 2016

Practice Patterns and Projections for the US Pediatric Otolaryngology Workforce

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

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.