In unchartered waters: Navigating the Pediatric Urology job market
Bryan S. Sack, MD1, Elizabeth B. Yerkes, MD2, Jason Van Batavia, MD3.
1Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA, 2Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital, Chicago, IL, USA, 3Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
BACKGROUND: Pediatric Urology fellows have had the comfort of a matching process for residency and fellowship. The task of navigating the job market successfully is unfamiliar and without resources. This led us to design a survey to provide insight into this process. METHODS: A REDCap survey was designed to understand how current fellows and 2012-2017 graduates obtained a position. Three emails were sent over the course of a 6-week period. Results were evaluated using STATA (version 14.2, College Station, TX, USA). RESULTS: 153 participants were emailed and 94 (61%) completed the survey. A 50% and 86% response rate was obtained for graduated and current fellows, respectively. The majority (44%) began the search at the Spring AUA meeting, 14 months before finishing. Of those who started 14 months before finishing, 33% wished they started earlier and 61% would have started at the same point. Of those who started 10 months prior to finishing, 58% wish they started earlier. The mean number of programs contacted was 3-4 and the median number of programs formally visited was two. Similarly, the median number of offers received was two. After the offer, the majority (40%) had >8 weeks to make a decision. Less than half (38.5%) hired an attorney for contract negotiation. Of those who did not, only 3% wish that they had. Conversely, of those who did hire an attorney, only 68% believed it provided benefit. When asked about what aspects of the contract were negotiated, 22% negotiated for nothing and 35% negotiated for salary. 28% of those who took academic jobs thought negotiating for protected research/educational time was most important compared to only 4% of those who took non-academic jobs. Over half of responders reported a starting salary >$300,000. Starting salary did appear to differ based on type of job (academic vs. non-academic) (Figure 1). Slightly more than half of responders received a signing bonus (57%). The majority (37%) finalized their contract "6-9 months prior to finishing fellowship." When asked how they learned about the job they accepted: 28% were contacted by the program, 25% cold called the program, 20% accepted where they did fellowship, 10% accepted where they did residency, and 18% learned through the SPU or AUA websites. The majority (50%) thought the number of desirable positions during the process were as they expected. 41% however thought the number of desirable positions were expectedly or surprisingly low. Regarding quality of life and satisfaction with job/career choice (Figure 2), 98% stated that they would still choose to sub-specialize in pediatric urology. CONCLUSIONS: The survey results objectively provide guidance to current and future fellows on how and what to expect as they enter into the unchartered waters of the pediatric urology job market.
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