Probationary Status
10+ Year Member
Oct 31, 2008
Attending Physician
My wife is a PGY-3 Peds resident and will be applying to PICU fellowships next year during her chief year.

Somebody I was talking to said the PICU attending job market is poor. Is there any merit to this statement?

Also what is expected avg salary for academic vs private PICU jobs?



Jedi Ninja Wizard
15+ Year Member
Dec 12, 2002
Attending Physician
There are jobs. The question is where and what she wants to do. It will also depend on how she carves out her niche in fellowship. Neurocritical care is quite popular now. Of course in 3 years the market may change, and that's near impossible to predict. But in general, there are more jobs than people for PICU. You can look at pedsccm.org to see some job availability.

Salary is going to vary quite a bit. Big academic centers will pay significantly less than private practice models, usually less than 200k. The trade off is that the number of clinical hours/weeks, is less, giving you more time to pursue academic interests. How much you will be under the gun to publish depends on the institution. Private practice will expect you to work more (maybe 16 shifts a month, maybe up to half of those nights), but pay more. There are a number of smaller PICUs with good residency programs that pay quite well in a private practice model, but are still very academic in practice, but don't require research. You will still work a bit more than in an academic center, and you may not do the 'big' cases (major transplants and things like that), but these places can be a great place to work.

Again, there's a huge amount of variation.


Senior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 16, 2004
Denver, CO
Attending Physician
I agree with Stitch. As someone who was applying for jobs last year, there are definitely jobs out there. It took some finagling for me and my co-fellows to find jobs in the cities/regions we wanted with the academic/private/other job-things that we wanted, but in the end it did work out. It's also true that if I felt like I *had* to live in a particular city or state, I might have had trouble finding a job there. But with a little flexibility, I was able to find jobs.

I would also warn that my experience and my co-fellows experiences were stressful because none of had firm job contracts signed until March-April (we were all staying academic; it seemed like some of the people who ended up in private places had their contracts lined up much earlier). The process seemed to drag out longer than it needed to, and especially if you're considering both private and academic places, there may be some pressure from the former to make a decision when you haven't yet heard anything from the latter.

I completely agree with Stitch's description of private/academic/hybrid positions. There was a huge variation in how much work you'd be doing and how much you'd be paid for it. I was surprised.