Part-Time Work Increasingly Common for Pediatricians

23 percent of survey respondents were part timers in 2006, up from 15 percent in 2000
By Jeff Muise
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Pediatricians are increasingly working part time, a trend which may keep experienced pediatricians in active practice longer, according to a pair of studies published online Dec. 14 in Pediatrics.

William L. Cull, Ph.D., of the American Academy of Pediatrics in Elk Grove Village, Ill., and colleagues surveyed American Academy of Pediatrics members in 2000 (812 surveys returned), 2003 (1,020), and 2006 (1,013). They found the proportion of pediatricians working part time increased for each year, from 15 percent in 2000, to 20 percent in 2003, to 23 percent in 2006. The pattern was consistent for men, women, pediatricians under 40, pediatricians 50 and older, those working in inner city or suburban settings, and general pediatricians and specialists. The part timers reported being more satisfied with the balance of their professional and personal activities.

Alicia C. Merline, Ph.D., also of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and colleagues surveyed 1,158 American Academy of Pediatrics members who were aged 50 and older. Forty-five percent of respondents said they planned to continue to work past the age of 65, with women less likely to work past age 65 than men (26 versus 57 percent). Part-time arrangements were common in the 50 and older age group, with women more likely to work part time than men (32 versus 18 percent).

"Results of this study suggest that making provisions for gradual reduction in work hours or other forms of phasing out of the work force could benefit the practice of pediatrics by extending the career length of the most experienced pediatricians," Merline and colleagues conclude.

Abstract - Cull
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Abstract - Merline
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