Like most physicians, pediatricians typically choose their jobs based on a variety of factors, including family, location, opportunities for professional growth, lifestyle and income.
And they’ve got options; pediatricians are in short supply and high demand.
But the path to a rewarding pediatric provider career isn’t likely to be paved with yellow bricks if you don’t take the time to consider the environment in which you’ll be spending your days (or nights).
To help you find the road that’s right for you, take a look at these five different pediatric provider career options:
Solo practitioners enjoy more individual freedom, ultimate decision-making authority when it comes to business decisions and incredibly close and personal relationships with their patients.
It is often an outstanding career choice for enterprising physicians who possess entrepreneurial spirits. Solo practitioners typically get to immerse themselves in every aspect of the business–from real estate to human resources to technology to care protocols to business development and marketing.
The vast majority (87 percent) of all pediatric office visits are provided in either private or group practices, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Pediatricians working in group practices tend to want to work as part of a team in an environment that delivers shorter work hours, shared decision-making responsibilities and plenty of time to focus on patient care.
Group practices often appeal to newly minted physicians interested in joining established practices where they can jump right in with patients, consult with other physicians and learn from experienced mentors.
Pediatricians who work in group practices have plenty of colleagues–the vast majority of pediatricians in the United States work in group practices, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In the 1970s, the federal government awarded a grant to the University of Utah to ensure that clinics in rural areas of the state would be staffed with physicians. Since then, the program has grown to include other areas of the country that are medically under-served.
Locum tenen positions provide a temporary pediatric provider career path focused on community service. Locum tenens make tangible differences in the lives of children who might not otherwise have access to physicians with the training and skills to meet their needs. In addition, the opportunities allow pediatricians to gain valuable experience which can be used to hone their clinical skills.
The country needs pediatricians and it needs faculty to train them, conduct research to improve health care and develop innovations in delivery.
This work typically occurs in academic health centers.
Pediatricians who work in academic health centers work on teams, teach, conduct research and typically have access to the latest technology, tools, equipment and patients. They also enjoy a well-established benefit structure as well as a steady flow of income.
Learn more about how academic pediatrics is improving the health and well-being of children.
Community hospitals play an incredibly important role in the country’s healthcare system. They meet the preventative, tertiary and critical care needs of patients in communities large and small–and they offer incredible opportunities for pediatricians.
The American Hospital Association estimates that more than 33 million patients were admitted to community hospitals in 2016, and many were children. Pediatricians working in community hospitals often work on complex cases. They partner and collaborate with specialists. And they enjoy a steady flow of income that isn’t typically tied to patient census or clinical appointments.
There are more than 4,000 community hospitals across the country, making it possible for pediatricians to work in rural, suburban or urban settings.
If a community hospital is a career path you’d like to walk down, consider Elliot Health System.
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