Publication date: Jul 15, 2023
The COVID-19 pandemic affected home and work routines, which may exacerbate existing academic professional disparities. Objectives were to describe the impact of the pandemic on pediatric faculty’s work productivity, identify groups at risk for widening inequities, and explore mitigation strategies. A cross-sectional study of faculty members was conducted at nine U. S. pediatric departments. Responses were analyzed by demographics, academic rank, and change in home caregiving responsibility. Of 5791 pediatric faculty members eligible, 1504 (26%) completed the survey. The majority were female (64%), over 40 years old (60%), and assistant professors (47%). Only 7% faculty identified as underrepresented in medicine. Overall 41% reported an increase in caregiving during the pandemic. When comparing clinical, administrative, research, and teaching activities, faculty reported worse 1-year outlook for research activities. Faculty with increased caregiving responsibilities were more likely to report concerns over delayed promotion and less likely to have a favorable outlook regarding clinical and research efforts. Participants identified preferred strategies to mitigate challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted pediatric faculty productivity with the greatest effects on those with increased caregiving responsibilities. COVID-19 was particularly disruptive to research outlook. Mitigation strategies are needed to minimize the long-term impacts on academic pediatric careers. The COVID-19 pandemic most negatively impacted work productivity of academic pediatric faculty with caregiving responsibilities. COVID-19 was particularly disruptive to short-term (1-year) research outlook among pediatric faculty. Faculty identified mitigation strategies to minimize the long-term impacts of the pandemic on academic pediatric career pathways.