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

Meeting: Hospital Medicine 2012, April 1-4, San Diego, Calif.

Abstract number: 97679


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. The email provided a link to an anonymous survey. Respondents were asked to rate their overall satisfaction with the services they covered on a five–point Likert scale. Satisfaction was further analyzed regarding: clinical content, commute, timing of shifts, and interaction with physicians, nurses, medical students/residents, and patients/families. Participants were also asked which services they would most enjoy in an ideal hospitalist program.


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 emergency unit (3.84). When asked which services were most desirable in a hospitalist program, the most common responses were inpatient care (76%), sedation services (65%), and delivery attendance (59%). Factors that most influenced overall satisfaction were commute, timing of shifts and clinical content.


Career satisfaction for pediatric hospitalists is high overall and influenced by many factors. Work–life balance is a major determinant of satisfaction as exemplified by the influence of commute and timing of shifts. Satisfaction is also strongly influenced by clinical content, particularly for those who identify themselves as career hospitalists. This study may assist program directors when designing or expanding hospitalist services.

Service Specific Satisfaction of Past and Present Hospitalists

Medically Complex Inpatient Co–coverage Academic Hospital 3.44 (18)
PICU Academic Hospital 3.80 (10)
Emergency Unit Academic Hospital 3.84 (68)
EU, Inpatient and Nursery Community Hospital #2 3.86 (50)
Transport Academic Hospital 3.97 (36)
Transfer Center – Day Academic Hospital 4.00 (18)
Sedation for Ambulatory Procedures Academic Hospital 4.04 (28)
Transfer Center – Overnight Academic Hospital 4.05 (19)
After Hours Inpatient Sedation Academic Hospital 4.11 (19)
After Hours Urgent Care Academic Hospital 4.15 (67)
EU and Inpatient Care Community Hospital #1 4.22 (68)
Nursery, Deliveries, NICU Community Hospital #1 4.23 (65)
Sedation for Wound Services Community Hospital #1 4.33 (15)
Sedation for Wound Services Academic Hospital 4.54 (28)
Nursery Academic Hospital 4.73 (11)
Inpatient Attending Academic Hospital 4.78 (51)**
Circumcision Service Academic Hospital 4.91 (11)
*Based on five point Likert scale **Combined scores of two different inpatient services

To cite this abstract:

Kushnir A, Pingel C, Herath G, Chiles J, Turmelle M, Shah P, Hwu R, Majcina S, Bhaskar S, Frey T. Pediatric Hospitalist Satisfaction and the Influencing Factors: The Washington University Experience. Abstract published at Hospital Medicine 2012, April 1-4, San Diego, Calif. Abstract 97679. Journal of Hospital Medicine. 2012; 7 (suppl 2). Accessed April 10, 2020.

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