Child Health Needs and the Pediatric Rheumatology Workforce: 2020–2040

Colleen K. Correll, Marisa S. Klein-Gitelman, Michael Henrickson, Daniel F. Battafarano, Colin J. Orr, Mary B. Leonard, Jay J. Mehta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Pediatric Rheumatology (PRH) workforce supply in the United States does not meet the needs of children. Lack of timely access to PRH care is associated with poor outcomes for children with rheumatic diseases. This article is part of a Pediatrics supplement focused on anticipating the future pediatric subspecialty workforce supply. It draws on information in the literature, American Board of Pediatrics data, and findings from a model that estimates the future supply of pediatric subspecialists developed by the Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Strategic Modeling and Analysis Ltd., and the American Board of Pediatrics Foundation. PRH has a smaller workforce per capita of children than most other pediatric subspecialties. The model demonstrates that the clinical workforce equivalent of pediatric rheumatologists in 2020 was only 0.27 per 100 000 children, with a predicted increase to 0.47 by 2040. Although the model predicts a 72% increase in providers, this number remains inadequate to provide sufficient care given the number of children with rheumatic diseases, especially in the South and West regions. The likely reasons for the workforce shortage are multifactorial, including lack of awareness of the field, low salaries compared with most other medical specialties, concerns about working solo or in small group practices, and increasing provider retirement. Novel interventions are needed to increase the workforce size. The American College of Rheumatology has recognized the dire consequences of this shortage and has developed a workforce solutions initiative to tackle these problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2023063678R
StatePublished - Feb 2024

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© 2024 American Academy of Pediatrics. All rights reserved.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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