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.
If children are fortunate, they have an array of people in their lives who care deeply about their well being. If they are very fortunate, they also have a pediatrician.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 4 million babies are born in the United States each year. Each newborn represents an opportunity to achieve wonderful things as well as the country’s hope for a brighter future.
Of course health and wellness are critically important to a child’s ability to achieve wonderful things and build a bright future–and that’s where pediatricians come in to play.
Here’s a look at why pediatricians are so incredibly important to children and the country alike:
Parents can’t do it alone. Sure, they can treat and take care of minor cuts, coughs and colds, but what about more complex illnesses, infections and injuries? And who is going to give physical exams to ensure children are developing properly? Primary care requires the partnership of a pediatrician.
Even the smallest scrapes and bruises can send a parent into a panic. Knowing they have a well-trained, trusted pediatrician they can call on for everyday illnesses and injuries takes away some of the stress associated with raising children.
In a world where inaccurate information is only a mouse click away, pediatricians have never been more important.
According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, more than 70 percent of internet users said they looked online for medical or health information in 2012. Given the explosion of both internet users and websites claiming to be sources of reliable medical information, that percentage has surly grown over the past four years.
That’s a problem for parents, who can have a difficult time determining what information is accurate and which isn’t. From information about vaccinations to food allergies to treatments for the common cold, parents need a steady, reliable source for healthcare information.
Thankfully, there are pediatricians to fill that role. They provide information about health, safety, nutrition, fitness needs and development. But they also educate parents about how to prevent illnesses and explain clear, accurate and actionable information about treatment options when necessary.
Pediatricians are on the front lines in the battle against autism, obesity, behavioral disorders, emotional issues and all of the other emerging public health concerns affecting adolescents in America today.
Well-child visits offer excellent opportunities for pediatricians to screen for and diagnose diseases and developmental early, which is critically important to preventing or delaying associated problems.
Early intervention enhances the quality of kids’ lives by making sure they are able to learn and grow–to the best of their abilities–into healthy, educated teens, young adults and adults.
This not only benefits the children and their parents, but society as a whole because kids who are healthy and able to learn are more likely to become productive adults.
Caring for children is a pediatrician’s role in society, but what most people don’t realize is that caring involves more than healthcare. The pediatrician’s role often extend’s into advocacy.
Children are among society’s most vulnerable, and they need people in their lives who are willing to advocate on their behalf.
Without pediatricians, many more parents might ignore scientific research and make healthcare decisions that put both their children and entire communities at risk. Elected officials would be more likely to pass legislation that does more harm than good. It would take longer for emerging public health concerns to be addressed. And the kids who need an advocate the most would have one less caring person in their corner.
Thank you pediatricians. Your contribution to the world is truly incredible.
Are you a talented pediatrician who is seeking a new career? Consider what Elliot Health System has to offer.