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Dec 2011

The Next Century of Children's Health Care: Addressing Disparities, Workforce Deficiencies, and Undercoordinated Services

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit, Divisions of General Pediatrics (Drs Davis and Riebschleger), General Medicine (Dr Davis), and Pediatric Rheumatology, Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases (Dr Riebschleger), Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy (Dr Davis), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2011;165(12):1067-1068. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2011.1068

Over the last century, the science informing major advances in pediatric care has been extraordinary in its insights, elegance, and determination to clear away our all-too-human ignorance about why children become sick. Yet, as a group, children in the United States are progressively manifesting more illnesses (eg, obesity and asthma) and disability over time, not less.

As argued eloquently by Dr Paul Wise, pediatrics as currently structured and practiced is failing children, not helping them flourish.1,2 It is possible to actively restructure clinical pediatric efforts to better serve children's and families' needs—for instance, to reflect the growing concentration of advanced, technologically sophisticated care for children for whom such care is life sustaining. However, such restructuring may fall short, unless the science behind redesigned care is broadened and intensified.