Webber SA, Frintner MP, Starmer AJ, Byrne BJ

Presented at the 2021 Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting

Background: Women pediatricians report lower satisfaction with work-life balance and greater time spent on household caregiving responsibilities than men colleagues, suggesting parenthood may differentially impact women and men’s careers. Little is known regarding the relationship of gender and parenthood with career choices and job satisfaction among recent residency graduates.   

Objective: Examine gender and parenthood differences in early career choices and job satisfaction among early career pediatricians (ECP).

Methods: National data from a 2019 survey of ECPs who graduated residency between 2016-2018, as a part of the AAP longitudinal study, Pediatrician Life and Career Experience Study. Respondents were asked about parenthood, fellowship training, part-time work hours, and satisfaction with job aspects (4-point Likert scale). Chi-squared tests examined relationships of gender and parenthood with fellowship training, part-time hours, and measures of job satisfaction. 

Results: 830 pediatricians responded (90% participation). Mean age=33 years. 75% were women and 43% parents. 41% of women and 48% of men were parents, p=0.11.

33% were in fellowship training with fewer women and parents in training compared to men and those without children (31% vs 39% p<0.05 and 24% vs 40% p<0.001, respectively) (Table). Among parents, 23% of women and 26% of men were in fellowship training, p=0.50. Among those without children, 36% of women and 51% of men were in fellowship training, p<0.01.

Overall, 11% reported part-time or reduced hours. One fellowship trainee reported such hours (0.4%), compared to 16% of post-training pediatricians. Among post-training pediatricians, parents and women were more likely than those without children and men to work part-time hours (24% vs 9%, p<0.001 and 19% vs 6%, p<0.01, respectively). Women parents were much more likely to work part-time than men parents (30% vs 5% p<0.001) (Table).

Overall, most were somewhat or completely satisfied with opportunities related to learning (85%), recognition (78%), flexibility for work-life balance (71%), and job earnings (65%), with no variation by parenthood status. Men were more likely to be satisfied with learning opportunities (91% vs 83% p=0.01) and recognition (83% vs 76% p=0.04), compared to women.

Conclusion: Women and parents are less likely to be in fellowship training and more likely to work part-time early in their careers. Women report high, but less satisfaction compared to men related to learning opportunities and recognition.


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American Academy of Pediatrics