Session Type: ACR Concurrent Abstract Session
Session Time: 2:30PM-4:00PM
The recent ACR Workforce Survey has projected that the current workforce shortage in pediatric rheumatology will worsen in the coming decades. Contributing to this shortage is lack of exposure to pediatric rheumatology in medical school and residency. In 2001, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) established the annual Pediatric Rheumatology Residents Program to address this workforce shortage. This program introduces pediatrics and internal medicine-pediatrics residents to subspecialty rheumatology training by providing an opportunity for the residents to attend the ACR/Association of Rheumatology Health Professional (ARHP) annual meeting. The program focuses on residents who have an interest in pediatric rheumatology but are undecided about a subspecialty. The residents are paired with a pediatric rheumatology faculty mentor, attend special interactive sessions such as fellow/faculty panels and guided poster tours, and are recommended to attend pediatric rheumatology-specific sessions at the annual meeting. The goal of the program is to encourage residents to pursue pediatric rheumatology fellowship training. We were interested in learning how successful this program was at achieving its stated goals.
We reviewed data collected from resident applications and annual post-meeting electronic surveys for all program years to determine the number of residents who went on to pediatric rheumatology fellowship training. We also looked at how important individual sessions were to the residents’ career decision-making.
The inaugural program included 22 pediatric residents, 8 of whom pursued pediatric rheumatology fellowship training (36%). Over the subsequent 17 years, the program has sponsored 21-26 pediatric residents per year. The percentage of residents who pursued pediatric rheumatology training is shown in Figure 1 and varied between 13-73%. End of program evaluations resident response rates were >95%. On program evaluations, residents noted that the faculty and fellow interactions were important and >90% of residents reported that faculty mentoring at the sessions was important in making decisions about the specialty.
The ACR Pediatric Rheumatology Residents Program has been successful in recruiting previously undecided residents to pursue fellowship training by providing opportunities for the residents to interact with pediatric rheumatologists and gain exposure to clinical and research sessions at the annual ACR/ARHP meetings. Continuation of this program is vital to address the deepening workforce shortage in pediatric rheumatology.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Sule S, Mehta J, Bitencourt N, Cooper A, Cooper J, Figueroa C, Hiraki L, Ruth NM, Twilt M, Anderson JM, Ardoin SP. Addressing the Pediatric Rheumatology Workforce Shortage: Results from the American College of Rheumatology Annual Pediatric Residents Program [abstract]. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2018; 70 (suppl 10). https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/addressing-the-pediatric-rheumatology-workforce-shortage-results-from-the-american-college-of-rheumatology-annual-pediatric-residents-program/. Accessed November 26, 2020.
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ACR Meeting Abstracts - https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/addressing-the-pediatric-rheumatology-workforce-shortage-results-from-the-american-college-of-rheumatology-annual-pediatric-residents-program/