Pediatric Cardiology workforce assessment led by WSU professor shows increased competition in field

January 19, 2017

Fellowship training positions in the field of Pediatric Cardiology should be contained at their current levels due to increased competition in the field, according to the results of the United States Pediatric Cardiology 2015 Workforce Assessment: A Survey of Current Training and Employment Patterns, available now in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Wayne State University School of Medicine Professor of Pediatrics Robert Ross, M.D., F.A.C.C., chaired the writing committee for the assessment, jointly released Nov. 28 by the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery, and the Society for Pediatric Cardiology Training Program Directors.

The task force surveyed all pediatric cardiologists with active email addresses who were registered as board eligible or board certified in Pediatric Cardiology with the American Board of Pediatrics, and found that for those who completed sub-specialty training, the most difficult fields in which to find positions were cardiac catheterization, electrophysiology and general cardiology. Critical care, heart failure/transplant and adult congenital cardiology were among the fields in which it was easiest to find employment.

Dr. Ross and his committee colleagues concluded that the survey results confirm that “while the field of Pediatric Cardiology has become competitive for graduates in some subspecialties, all recent graduates found jobs in the field. Areas of need currently are Critical Care Cardiology, Heart Failure/Transplant and Adult/Congenital Cardiology, while Cardiac Catheterization and Electrophysiology positions are challenging to find,” Dr. Ross said.

The 2015 survey showed that about 60 percent of cardiology fellows go on to advance subspecialty training, with the majority taking academic positions upon completion.

“As this survey reflected a single point in time, the recommendation was to refine and repeat the survey at two-year intervals to best keep the field apprised of the workforce needs going forward,” he added.

Dr. Ross is past-president of the Society of Pediatric Cardiology Training Program Directors and the current Cardiology representative in the Council of Pediatric Subspecialties. He continues to be involved in the Pediatric Workforce task force. He was the lead author of the revision of the Pediatric Cardiology Training Program Guidelines, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and Circulation in 2015.

Dr. Ross also is director of Fellowship Programs and the Pulmonary Hypertension Program at Children's Hospital of Michigan.

“My interests in fellowship training and improving their education and success have led me to continue these activities,” he said.

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