Which pediatricians are providing care to America's children? An update on the trends and changes during the past 26 years

J Pediatr. 2010 Jul;157(1):148-152.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2010.01.003. Epub 2010 Mar 15.


Objective: To determine the current proportion of pediatric primary care and specialty visits being conducted by pediatricians versus other providers.

Study design: We used data from 1980-2006 National Ambulatory Medical Care Surveys (NAMCS) to examine trends in office visits by patients 0 to 17 years of age. During our years of interest, the total number of visits in NAMCS by children ranged from 2597 to 9220 per year.

Results: Overall, the percentage of all nonsurgical physician office visits for children 0 to 17 years of age made to general pediatricians increased from 61% in 1996 to 71% in 2006 and those to nonpediatric generalists fell from 28% to 22%. The greatest changes between 2000 and 2006 occurred in the adolescent age group where the proportion of visits to general pediatricians increased from 38% to 53%.

Conclusions: Pediatricians continue to provide most primary care visits for children in the United States. For the first time, pediatricians now provide most visits for adolescents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Child Health Services / trends*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Office Visits / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pediatrics / trends*
  • Physicians / statistics & numerical data
  • Physicians / trends*
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Primary Health Care / trends*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • United States