Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics


Search This Site

Journal Club

Men and Women in Peds
Gender and Generational Influences on the Pediatric Workforce and Practice.  Spector N et al.  Pediatrics.  2014;133(6): 1112-1121.
Reviewed by Angie Thompson-Busch

What was the study question?
What are the demographic trends of male and female pediatricians?  

How was the study done?
The Federation of Pediatric Organization (FOPO) tasked a working group (the Gender and Generations working group) with studying the demographic trends and social media utilization of male and female pediatricians.  They use data from previous research of pediatricians, residents, medical students and patients.

What were the results?

  • There are proportionately more females in pediatrics than other medical professions.  This trend has continued into the 21st century.  The increasing number of female pediatric residents results from the growing number of female graduates rather than a change in the proportion of men or women entering pediatrics. 
  • Women are less likely to pursue a subspecialty, however there has not been a decline in subspecialists because of the overall increasing number of pediatricians going into subspecialties.  
  • While women are finding more leadership roles in pediatrics, less women apply for initial or subsequent research funding compared to men.
  • There are four generations represented in today’s pediatric workforce. 
  • Younger generations are more likely to value work/life balance, prefer to work part-time, plan to retire early, and more interested in technology within their pediatric practice.
  • There were no gender differences found in how men and women practice pediatrics in 83% of cases.


What are the implications?
The increasing proportion of women and younger generations in the pediatric workforce (who may prefer to work less hours than older generation and men) may lead to less pediatric research and a shortage of overall pediatricians.  The future workforce may need to be flexible with regard to work hours and roles.


Editor’s note:  That fewer women are entering research is notable.  Is this partially based on how we teach, or model, research during their training?  Do we need to more overtly encourage women to pursue research careers? 

A Canadian study found that, over their entire careers, women actually put in as much or more hours of practicing medicine than men – in contrast to men, women increased their clinical work late in their career (perhaps after their children were older) while men decreased their clinical work as their careers progressed (SLB). 


Return to Journal Club