Practice variations by population: training significance

Pediatrics. 1996 Aug;98(2 Pt 1):186-90.


Objective: This study sought to examine variations in the frequency of procedures performed and patterns of care of sick infants and older children by general pediatricians in different sized communities. The results of the study will be considered in developing relevant educational experiences for postgraduate trainees.

Methodology: Questionnaires were sent to 1412 Texas pediatricians requesting frequency information for 29 procedures and whether they provided various levels of care to sick infants and older children. Responses were tabulated by the size of the community in which each pediatrician practiced.

Results: Fifty-four percent of the questionnaires were returned. The proportion of pediatricians performing each procedure was significantly different for all but 8 of the 29 procedures between communities of less than 100,000 and more than 100,000 population. For all procedures with significant differences, the proportion of physicians performing the procedures was significantly greater for pediatricians practicing in communities of less than 100,000 population. No significant difference was found between the proportion of pediatricians providing newborn level II and III care; however, more than 65% of both groups provided level II care. Physicians in communities of less than 100,000 population were more likely to provide intermediate and intensive care beyond the newborn period.

Conclusion: The general practice rotation in the community setting will not provide adequate training experiences for many of the procedures currently being performed by general pediatricians.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Pediatrics / education*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'* / statistics & numerical data
  • Professional Practice Location
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Rural Population
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Texas
  • Urban Population