Children are not small adults: the need for pediatric subspecialists

Dennis Rosen, MD
Dennis Rosen, MD

In an op-ed in the New York Times, Dennis Rosen, MD, a pediatric pulmonologist at Children’s Hospital Boston, warns about the growing shortage of pediatric subspecialists. Rosen recently went to D.C. for Family Advocacy Day, where he met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to discuss how public policy shapes pediatric care. According to Rosen, the federal government should encourage young doctors to go into pediatric subspecialities with loan-forgiveness programs:

There are many reasons for the declining interest in pediatric subspecialties, including longer hours and the burden of medical school debt worsened by the low salaries paid during three extra years of training. These circumstances aren’t likely to change, but there is something we can do to attract practitioners… Children are not “little adults,” as pediatricians know well. They require treatment tailored to their needs. While there is great pressure to reduce government spending on health care, we need to invest in the training of pediatric subspecialists to make sure that our children have doctors who know best how to care for them.