Transition Plan for Healthy Children

Pediatric Workforce

The United States needs a sufficient number of appropriately trained primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists, and pediatric surgical specialists to provide care to children. However, there has long been an inadequate supply of pediatric specialists to meet need. The administration must support the pediatric workforce to ensure that all children can access timely care in their communities.

Fund and implement the Pediatric Subspecialty Loan Repayment Program to reduce critical shortages of pediatric subspecialists. Timely access to care from pediatric subspecialists is critical to managing chronic conditions, treating serious acute illness, and addressing mental health concerns. However, serious shortages of pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists are limiting young people's access to care. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) should implement the Pediatric Subspecialty Loan Repayment Program, which was reauthorized by Congress in 2020, to address the financial disincentives that prevent physicians from pursuing pediatric subspecialty training.

Bolster the pipeline of pediatricians by supporting foreign national physicians training and practicing in the United States. Foreign national physicians from all over the world play a vital role in our health care system, and their contributions strengthen the field of medicine and improve health for children nationwide. The administration should abandon the misguided proposal to eliminate "duration of status" as a period of authorized stay for foreign national physicians training in U.S.-based residency and fellowship programs on J-1 visas. This proposal threatens to render thousands of J-1 physicians unable to continue their training in the U.S. and further strain health care teams. Furthermore, the administration should support an expansion of the Conrad 30 Waiver Program to expand care in underserved areas by allowing additional foreign national trainees to remain in the country after training and support an expedited pathway for foreign national physicians practicing on the frontlines in the U.S. and their families to obtain permanent residency.

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American Academy of Pediatrics