March 1974

Who Provides What Services to Children in Private Medical Practice?

Author Affiliations

Gainesville, Fla
From the Department of Pediatrics, University of Florida (Gainesville) College of Medicine.

Am J Dis Child. 1974;127(3):357-361. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1974.02110220055006

All 277 million contacts between patients 0 to 15 years old and private practitioners in 1971 were analyzed to determine reasons for the contacts and their distribution among the various types of physicians. Pediatricians and generalists account for 75% of contacts in equal numbers, but half the pediatrician's contacts are babies, and he does twice as much well-child care as the generalist. Though he sees relatively few children, the internist approaches the ideal of consulting pediatrician much more closely than does the pediatrician in practice. The present number of pediatricians could provide or direct all medical services for children by the use of non-physician assistants, improved training in the organization of child-care practice, the captaincy of a pediatric health team, and child health advocacy in the community.