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March 2003

Primary Care and Specialty Care for US Children: What Is the Right Mix?

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2003;157(3):219-220. doi:10.1001/archpedi.157.3.219

THE VERY TITLE of the article by Forrest et al1 in this issue of the Archives, "Referral of Children to Specialists in the United States and the United Kingdom," reminds us of the historical change in the role of US pediatricians. A few decades ago, pediatricians in the United States (US) were the "specialists" in the care of children. Now, most US pediatricians are primary care generalists who refer patients to pediatric subspecialists. In contrast, pediatricians in the United Kingdom (UK) have remained specialists, and primary child health care is still the province of general practitioners.