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October 1987

The Pediatric Residency Program of the Future: II. Tomorrow's Private Pediatric Practice: A Change in Roles

Author Affiliations

Children's Health Center St Joseph's Hospital 350 W Thomas Rd Phoenix, AZ 85013

Am J Dis Child. 1987;141(10):1045-1046. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1987.04460100023015

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Although the pediatrician will still be a specialist in children's health care 20 years from now, there will be many changes in practice settings and modes of health care provision that will be made in light of the medical malpractice crisis, third-party payer encroachment on patient care, and increasing competition among practitioners.

THE MALPRACTICE CRISIS: A THREAT TO CARE  In the future, pediatricians will continue to feel the aftereffects of the medical malpractice crisis that began in the 1970s. In 1975, it was estimated that approximately one in five physicians could expect a suit in his/her professional lifetime. By 1983, the number of malpractice suits had increased to three times that in the late 1970s. In addition, an increasing proportion of settlements have been in excess of $1 million.At the core of the litigation problem, there seems to be a misunderstanding of the difference between a bad outcome due

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