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Newer Pediatricians are Satisfied with First Jobs; work matches lifestyle, family and career goals


One group of doctors seems to be starting their careers on the right note – pediatricians.  Despite reports indicating job dissatisfaction among some physicians, at least one group of doctors seems to be starting their careers on the right note — pediatricians. 

The most important factor in their top choice for their first job was:

  • lifestyle
  • spouses
  • family

According to a University of Michigan study, more than two- thirds believe their current jobs are consistent with their career goals.


Pediatrics Findings

“There are frequent concerns about whether new physicians are being matched with positions that meet their career ambitions, and we found that for pediatricians, the news is quite good,” says lead author Gary Freed, M.D., M.P.H., founding director of the Child Health Evaluation and Research (CHEAR) Unit at the U-M Health System and professor of pediatrics at U-M’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. 

“The vast majority, over 80 percent, of new pediatricians were very satisfied with their first jobs after completing residency and how it matches with their plans.” 

With nearly half of new pediatric residency graduates entering the field each year, general pediatricians comprise the largest proportion of practicing pediatricians in the U.S.. Researchers surveyed 2,327 general pediatricians taking their initial board certification examinations. 

Study Highlights

It’s important to look at whether first jobs lined up with career goals in order to understand what leads to job and career satisfaction for the new generation of pediatricians and to help us identify future workforce and training needs,” says Freed, Professor in the U-M School of Public Health and a member of the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation. 

Job Selection Consideration:

  • 69% prioritises lifestyle and family considerations
  • 2% prioritises earning potential
  • 9% said debt at the end of the training was the most important factor in first job selection. 

Job Satisfaction: 

  • 1/7 pediatricians who work part-time in their first job, stated they worked more than 40 hours a week. 
  • Of the 17% not satisfied with how they spend time at work, many said they’d like to spend more time in patient care and less time in administrative tasks 
  • New female general pediatricians, were just as unlikely as new male general pediatricians (3%) to pursue careers focused on research. 
  • Most new general pediatricians want to spend most if not all of their clinical time providing outpatient care for children. Most had no interest in performing inpatient care. 


University of Michigan Health System. (2015, March 23). Majority of new pediatricians satisfied with first jobs; work matches lifestyle, family and career goals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 6, 2019 from 

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