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Pediatric Hospitalist Satisfaction and the Influencing Factors: The Washington University Experience - CANCELED

Sunday, October 21, 2012
Room 281-282 (Morial Convention Center)
Jonathan Chiles, Christopher Pingel, Shobha Bhaskar, Abby Kushnir, Ruth S. Hwu, Sarah Graham Majcina, Theresa Frey, G. Rosy Herath, Monalisa Mullick, Michael Turmelle and Purvi P. Shah, Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO


Pediatric Hospital Medicine has seen tremendous growth in the last ten years, with diverse staffing models at individual programs. The program at Washington University provides a broad range of clinical services. In 2000, we had five pediatric hospitalists covering four services in two hospitals. By 2010, we had 48 hospitalists covering 18 services at four hospitals. Given the diversity of clinical services in both academic and community settings, satisfaction measures may be applicable to the field as a whole. Our objective is to determine the factors which influence career satisfaction in pediatric hospital medicine and to identify the features of an ideal hospitalist position.


We contacted current and former Washington University pediatric hospitalists since 2000 via email, which provided a link to an anonymous survey. Respondents were asked to rate their overall satisfaction with services they covered on a five-point Likert scale. Participants were also asked which services they would most enjoy in an ideal program.  Satisfaction was further analyzed in relation to individual services regarding: clinical content, commute, timing of shifts, and interaction with physicians, nurses, medical students/residents, and patients/families. Pearson correlation coefficients (Pcc) between influencing factors and area satisfaction were calculated and compared in relation to mean ratings. 


77% (68/88) completed the survey. Overall satisfaction ratings were high for all services (3.44-4.91). Highest rated services included circumcision service (4.91), academic ward attending (4.78), and academic nursery attending (4.73). Lowest rated were co-coverage of medically complex orthopedic patients (3.44), PICU (3.80), and academic EU (3.84). By service area, clinical content had the highest Pcc (0.61, p <0.0001) with a positive influence (mean rating of 4.26) on satisfaction. Interaction with physicians had the highest Pcc (0.63, p<0.001) with a negative influence (mean rating 4.10).  The factor with the lowest Pcc (0.44, p<0.0001) was commute.  When asked which services were most desirable, the most common responses were inpatient care (76%), sedation services (65%), and delivery attendance (59%).

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Career satisfaction for pediatric hospitalists is high overall. Clinical content has the strongest correlation to higher ratings, while interaction with other physicians has the strongest correlation to lower ratings.  An ideal hospitalist program likely would include inpatient care, sedation services and delivery attendance; however, academic nursery and circumcision services are highly satisfying despite less interest.  This study may assist program directors when designing or expanding hospitalist services.