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Financial Health of Early Career Pediatricians


Amy J Starmer, MD, MPH,1 Ashley Miller, MD,2 Elizabeth Schott, MA,3 Mary Pat Frintner, MSPH3

1Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, United States; 2New London Hospital, New London, United States; 3American Academy of Pediatrics, Elk Grove, United States

Presented at the 2016 Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting.

Background: Pediatric resident educational debt has been steadily increasing.  Less is known about the financial health of pediatricians.

Objective: To examine financial health markers of pediatricians and relationships with demographic characteristics.

Methods: National, weighted data collected in 2015 from the AAP Pediatrician Life and Career Experience Study (PLACES), a longitudinal study of early career pediatricians with 2 cohorts: 1) older:11-13 years post-residency; 2) younger:4-6 years post-residency. Four multivariable logistic regression models examined relationships between markers of financial health and several characteristics.

Results: 87% of PLACES pediatricians completed the 2015 survey (n=1544); analyses included post-training, working pediatricians (n=1431). 69% of the older and 76% of the younger cohort reported educational debt at graduation, p<.01.  Among those with debt, the older group reported less debt than the younger group at graduation ($114,000 vs $154,000, p<.001) and in 2015 ($63,000 vs $119,000, p<.001).  Most pediatricians own a home (85%).  Fewer say their retirement savings are on track (40%), are very satisfied with their salary (36%), and have no financial worries (21%).  In multivariable analysis, financial markers varied by several pediatrician characteristics.  Pediatricians with annual income >$200,000 were more likely, and IMG were less likely, to report better financial health on all 4 markers. 

Conclusion: Among early career pediatricians, many are not saving as much as they would like for retirement and report financial worries. This has implications for more recent residency graduates who have higher debt.

 % ​  ​  ​ 
 ​Own home Retirement savings on trackCompletely/very satisfied with salaryNo financial worries
     

Cohort
Older (n=721)

Younger (n=710)


94

76


45

36


38

35


25

16

Gender
Female (n=927)

Male (n=504)


84

86


39

43


35

40


19

24

Married/partnered
Yes (n=1243)

No (n=184)


88

61


41

38


37

35


21

16

Have children
Yes (n=1131)

No (n=294)


91

63


40

41


37

35


21

18

IMG
Yes (n=279)

No (n=1151)


78

87


36

42


28

38


16

22

Debt at  graduation:
$0 - 99,999 (n=695)

>$100,000 (n=723)


86

84


45

36


34

38


27

15

Part-time
Yes (n=301)

No (n=1127)


89

84


48

39


32

37


25

19

Subspecialist
Yes (n=583)

No (n=848)


84

86


41

40


30

41


19

22

Income > $200,000
Yes (n=512)

No (n=908)


91

82


48

37


58

24


27

17


Bolded text= p<.05 in multivariable analysis, controlling for other demographic characteristics in table