The geographic distribution of the US pediatric dermatologist workforce: A national cross-sectional study

Sepideh Ashrafzadeh, Gregory A. Peters, Heather A. Brandling-Bennett, Jennifer T. Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background /Objectives: Although 82% of pediatricians report that their patients have difficulty accessing pediatric dermatologists, the regions with greatest need for the specialty are not well-defined. We aimed to determine the geographic distribution of pediatric dermatologists relative to the number of children and pediatric generalists. Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study of all US board-certified pediatric dermatologists, generalists (defined as pediatricians and family medicine physicians), and children in 2020. Data were obtained from the Society for Pediatric Dermatology, American Board of Pediatrics, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, and US Census Bureau. Number of children, pediatric dermatologists, and pediatric generalists were tabulated in each county and state, and the distributions of pediatric dermatologists and generalists relative to the population of children were quantified with the Gini coefficient. Results: Of 317 pediatric dermatologists, 243 (76.7%) were women and 311 (98.1%) worked in a metropolitan county. A pediatric dermatologist was present in 41/50 (82%) states and 142/3228 (4.4%) counties. Not a singlepediatric dermatologist was found in 54/92 (58.7%) counties with 100 000-199 999 children, 15/53 (28.3%) counties with 200 000-499 999 children, and 4/13 (30.8%) counties with ≥500 000 children. The Gini coefficient for the state-level distribution of pediatric dermatologists relative to population of children was 0.488 compared to 0.132 for that of pediatric generalists. Conclusion: There is a maldistribution of pediatric dermatologists, resulting in children with unmet dermatologic needs in nine states and 96 heavily populated counties. These results can inform initiatives to recruit pediatric dermatologists and to expand telehealth access to specific high-density areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1098-1105
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Dermatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • geography
  • pediatric dermatology
  • pediatrics
  • specialist access
  • underserved
  • workforce
  • workforce shortages


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