Objectives. In 1991, all active board-certified pediatric cardiologists were polled by questionnaire to examine the relation of subspecialty training and motivational and satisfaction issues to practice characteristics. Background. Previous questionnaires with regard to manpower status and practice characteristics were published in 1967 and 1980. These indicated a field predominantly centered in academic medicine with growth in manpower close to predicted need. Methods. The questionnaire was mailed to 844 of 884 active board-certified pediatric cardiologists and was returned anonymously by 570, a 68% response rate. Results. Among respondents, the mean year in which fellowship training was completed was 1974. The average length of subspecialty training was 31 months for all respondents and 34 months among those completing training since 1981. Seventy-seven percent of subspecialty training centered on clinical training. Although there has been a slight increase in research training in recent years, only 18 respondents completed ≥22 months of research training. Respondents devote a mean of 89% of professional hours to subspecialty activities and spend 63% of total hours in clinical care. Total hours, income and procedures were related to site of professional activity. Professional satisfaction was high in the factors considered more important: professional challenge and interactions, clinical resources, career security and clinical autonomy. Conclusions. The field of pediatric cardiology is a subspecialty centered on patient care and performance of diagnostic and interventional techniques. Professional activities varied according to practice site. Pediatric cardiologists with basic research training and professional activity nain a minority. Satisfaction is high, with greatest satisfaction in professional interactions and least satisfaction with income and free time.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
From the Department of Pediatrics, University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center, Los Angeles, California . This study was funded by the American College of Cardiology.