DOI: 10.1542/peds.2023-063678k ISSN: 0031-4005

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

Cary G. Sauer, John A. Barnard, Robert J. Vinci, Jennifer A. Strople
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health

This article is part of an American Board of Pediatrics Foundation-sponsored effort to analyze and forecast the pediatric subspecialty workforce between 2020 and 2040. Herein, an overview of the current pediatric gastroenterology workforce is provided, including demographics, work characteristics, and geographic distribution of practitioners. Brief context is provided on the changing nature of current practice models and the increasing prevalence of some commonly seen disorders. On the basis of a rigorous microsimulation workforce projection model, projected changes from 2020 to 2040 in the number of pediatric gastroenterologists and clinical workforce equivalents in the United States are presented. The article closes with a brief discussion of training, clinical practice, policy, and future workforce research implications of the data presented. This data-driven analysis suggests that the field of pediatric gastroenterology will continue to grow in scope and complexity, propelled by scientific advances and the increasing prevalence of many disorders relevant to the discipline. The workforce is projected to double by 2040, a growth rate faster than most other pediatric subspecialties. Disparities in care related to geography, race, and ethnicity are among the most significant challenges for the years ahead. Changes to training and education, incentives to meet the needs of underserved populations, and new multidisciplinary models for health care delivery will be necessary to optimally meet the volume, diversity, and complexity of children with gastroenterological diseases in the years ahead.

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