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January 5, 2022

Letter on 2021 Pediatric ID Match Results

Dear Colleagues,

In mid-December, we received the results of the 2021 Pediatric Infectious Diseases match. Fifty-nine programs participated in the match this year (up from 55 last year), and 84 positions were offered (up from 77 in 2020). Forty-four applicants were matched to these positions (52%), which is similar to last year, and 24 of 59 participating programs (41%) filled all of their positions.

The increase in programs participating and total positions available illustrates the importance we continue to place on the recruitment and training of the next generation of Pediatric ID specialists. The number of applicants for Pediatric ID fellowship positions this year (46 applicants) is on par with recent match cycles (average of 46.6 applicants/year over the past 5 years). We typically have <1 candidate (range 0.5-0.7) per open position for Pediatric ID every year who go through the match.

We know how much effort is expended in the recruitment of new fellows, and it is disappointing when an applicant does not match into our programs. PIDS members are continuing to work together to create new pathways for early trainee engagement. We are dedicated to furthering our efforts to introduce young learners to all that Pediatric Infectious Diseases has to offer. Here are some examples of what institutions have done to grow interest within their medical schools and residency programs:

  1. Engagement with local medical student Pediatric or ID interest groups
  2. Partnering with the medical school microbiology course director to bring clinical case examples or outbreak investigations to the students
  3. Communicate about infectious diseases research opportunities to junior trainees
  4. Introduce your research laboratory to the residents and students on your inpatient consultation service
  5. Continue local efforts to make pediatric ID a required rotation for all residents and, potentially, senior medical students
  6. Establish a program to host visiting URiM medical students and residents for a clinical rotation
  7. Visit the local Health Department with interested students/residents
  8. Join with your Internal Medicine ID colleagues to combine efforts and possibly receive small funds from IDSA for activities to promote the subspecialty of ID

One of the simplest and most effective things you can do to highlight the value of a career in Pediatric ID is to consistently communicate a positive message to trainees. Tell them why you chose pediatric infectious diseases, the diverse array of career choices, and the elements of your job that you love the most. Even through the stresses of the ongoing pandemic, we know most of us still feel a deep sense of responsibility and pride as we serve our patients, hospitals, health departments, and communities. There’s never been a better time to inspire trainees to see the good they can do as Pediatric ID specialists.

We are always happy to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Feel free to contact Josh Watson (Joshua.Watson@nationwidechildrens.org), Scott James (sjames@uabmc.edu), or PIDS President Buddy Creech (buddy.creech@vumc.org) if you have any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Joshua Watson, MD

Chair, PIDS Training Programs Committee

Scott James, MD

Vice-Chair, PIDS Training Programs Committee

Buddy Creech, MD, MPH

PIDS President

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