To examine physician workforce characteristics and workforce projections of one vulnerable pediatric subspecialty, child neurology, and compare this subspecialty with other pediatric subspecialties, general pediatrics, and adult neurology. National survey of child neurologists compared with other pediatric specialties in the Community Tracking Study Physician Survey (CTS) and the American Medical Association (AMA) Masterfile, and input-output workforce projections. Child neurologists are more likely than other specialists to report that the complexity or severity of patients' conditions at the time of referral is less than it should be and that the number of patients being referred to them has increased. Projections of the future workforce reveal that by 2022 the number of pediatric subspecialists and pediatricians will increase substantially, to almost 180% and 150% of the current workforce, respectively. Among child neurologists and adult neurologists, practicing physicians will be only 109% and 105% of the current workforce by 2022. Child neurologists are more likely to face future workforce shortages than other pediatric subspecialists. To reduce future shortages, recruitment efforts need to be concentrated on the at-risk subspecialties such as child neurology. In the short-term, addressing the high prevalence of inappropriate low-acuity referrals to child neurologists may ease the gap between supply and demand.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health