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June 1985

Availability of Physicians Through Call Schedules

Author Affiliations

Salem Pediatric Clinic 115 Mission St S Salem, OR 97302

Am J Dis Child. 1985;139(6):541. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1985.02140080011002

Sir.—I was enjoying "A Regional Poison Control System" by Marcus and co-workers1 until the sentence: "When one considers the fact that private physicians, unlike regional poison centers, are usually not available seven days a week, 24 hours a day, then the absence of a poison center backup to private physicians creates a suburban experience that approaches that of the inner city."

I had never been aware of the "fact" that we private practitioners are not available 24 hours a day. My personal experience over the past 30 years in a pediatric partnership of six conscientious pediatricians covering their responsibilities without a house staff is quite the opposite. Moreover, I feel that our group is not at all unique in this respect. Years before emergency rooms were staffed and long before there were poison centers, we got the job done by staying close to the phone, missing countless family