Academic Generalist

Pediatric Academic Generalist

What does an Academic General Pediatrician do?
What are the career opportunities?
What Board, if any, certifies Academic Pediatric Generalists?
What is the lifestyle of an Academic Pediatric Generalist?
What is the compensation of an Academic Pediatric Generalist?
How do I become an Academic Pediatric Generalist?
Where do I find out about available programs?
When do I apply?
Why should I choose to become an Academic Pediatric Generalist?

What does a Academic General Pediatrician do?
Academic General Pediatricians typically work in academic health centers in a wide variety of positions, including major roles in pediatric resident and medical student education, research in general pediatrics, pediatric quality improvement, and management of many pediatric health care programs. Topics addressed in research and program development have substantial breadth, including childhood chronic conditions, treatment of common pediatric conditions, preventing health risk behaviors, genetics in primary care, child maltreatment, health policy, health systems organization, hospitalist care, racial and ethnic disparities in child health, implementation/translational research, practice-based research and community interventions. Most Academic Generalists have clinical responsibilities, including inpatient care, primary care, newborn care and clinical programs focused on specific general pediatric problems or vulnerable and underserved children, adolescents, and families.

What are the career opportunities?
Most Academic Generalists are based in departments of pediatrics in academic health centers. Others find positions in policy and public health areas or in health care management (e.g., practice leadership).

What Board, if any, certifies Academic Pediatric Generalists?
Currently, no separate boards exist for Academic Generalists beyond the general pediatric examination of the American Board of Pediatrics. Many Academic Generalists have had fellowship training, and some fellowships have accreditation through the Academic Pediatric Association, the primary professional organization of academic general pediatricians. The Academic Pediatric Association has taken on the role of an accrediting organization for Academic Generalist Fellowship programs. This is an ongoing process whose aim is to assure the quality of training and also to support these fellowship programs. The currently accredited fellowship programs are listed here.

What is the lifestyle of an Academic Pediatric Generalist?
Academic Generalists typically have a combination of teaching, patient care, research, and program administration – and the amounts of each vary a good deal depending on one’s focus and interests.

What is the compensation of an Academic Pediatric Generalist?
Compensation for academic generalists is comparable to that of many community-based pediatricians as well as some subspecialists.

How do I become an Academic Pediatric Generalist?
Most academic generalists have had some training beyond residency or chief residency. Fellowship training programs exist in many sites and academic hospitals around the country. A list of fellowships can be found at the Academic Pediatric Association. Some focus particularly on research training; others focus on training in medical education and scholarship; and others or in combination focus on specific clinical skills development. Many programs include coursework leading to a Masters in Public Health,, more recently, Masters in Clinical Research or a related field. Increasingly, fellowship programs have had accreditation to document meeting basic standards of faculty and leadership skills development and fellowship training.

Where do I find out about available programs?
The Academic Pediatric Association has a listing of fellowships on its website. In addition, each year the Journal of Pediatrics publishes a list that describes most Academic General Pediatric fellowship programs.

When do I apply?
Currently, Academic Generalist Programs do not have a single date for final applications or a specific match day. Most sites encourage applications late in the 2nd year of residency or the summer of the 3rd year. Most interviews are concluded by late October, with decisions made typically by December. Though the variability is great and often program positions are reliant on grant funds and potentially becoming available into the spring of a residents 3rd year to start that July.

Why should I choose to become an Academic Pediatric Generalist?
Academic generalists have major roles in pediatric education, especially at medical student and resident levels. Their research covers significant pediatric topics and particularly informs health policy and program development in ways to improve child and adolescent health, often among particularly high risk groups.

For more information about Academic General Pediatrics, visit this website:
Academic Pediatric Association,

Subspecialty Journal
Academic Pediatrics

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