Trend: Pediatric specialist MDs in short supply

In recent times, children in need of pediatric specialists have been facing long waits. Across the U.S., there's a shortage of such specialists, despite the fact that there's been an increase in their ranks over the past decade.  In some subspecialty areas, such as neonatal-perinatal medicine, demand for training remains high among fellows. However, in other categories, such as nephrology, few fellows seem interested. Regardless of specialty, however, the volume of new specialists isn't keeping up with demand.

Observers note that with the need for an additional three years of training above and beyond medical school and a three-year residency, becoming a subspecialist may not make financial sense. Not only that, if the specialist goes into academic medicine, they might make less than a general pediatrician. To address the shortage, researchers say, it will be key to offer loans and grants to help subspecialists continue their training. (While the researchers don't address this issue, wouldn't it help to train nurse practitioners in pediatric specialty disciplines as well?)

To learn more about this trend:
- read this Houston Chronicle article

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