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Future of Pediatric Hospitalist

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bjb0403

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I'm curious as to what the future of pediatric hospitalists will hold. I'd really like to do this route. Is the field expanding or in demand? I know adult hospitalists are on the rise but I don't hear much about peds hospitalist. Also, as far as compensation (which isn't everything), is it competitive, as I will have 300K to payback after school?

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Stitch

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I think there will be more and more need for them. People who enjoy outpatient peds are tending to focus on that and fewer primary care docs are rounding in the hospital anymore. You don't really get reimbursed for it and it really cuts into your day. Plus if your patients need you during the day, it's hard to coordinate an office and take care of your inpatients. That's not to put down the people who still do it (and do it well), but the tendency is moving towards 24/7 in house hospitalist coverage. Moreover, it seems like there are more and more smaller, non academic pediatric wards around.

Compensation will vary depending on the practice type and the coverage schedule. People are (usually) covering 14 (ish +/-) 12 hour shifts a month. Some do 24 hours at a time. The pay is similar to what you'd make as a general pediatrician, but of course that will vary depending on whether you are at an academic center or in private practice.
 

Stitch

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The other question that comes up is whether you need to do a fellowship to be a peds hospitalist. In general no, but the fellowship does teach a few things you might not get in residency. One is the administrative and financial runnings of a hospitalist system. The other is research, which may be valuable if you are staying at an academic institution. People tend to like fellowship trained folks to be in a medical directorship position, but it's not absolutely necessary. I wonder how this will change since residencies are now tracking people into primary care/hospitalist/subspecialty early on.
 
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