PORTLAND, Ore. -- During the next 20 years there will be a 58 percent increase in the number of pediatricians and only a 9.3 percent increase in the number of children in the United States, according to a study led by an Oregon Health & Science University pediatrics researcher. The study is one of the first published that looks specifically at the number of physicians who specialize in caring for children and uses a statistical model to assess outside forces that could impact the work force. The study, "The Expanding General Pediatrician Workforce," will be published in the March issue of the journal Pediatrics (http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/current.shtml).
"The results of this study give us a roadmap for the future of children's health care and the role the pediatrician will play in that care," said Scott A. Shipman, M.D., M.P.H., principal investigator, assistant professor of pediatrics in the Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine. "We need to act now so this increase in pediatricians can be leveraged to benefit our children, not harm our health care system."
In the 1980s some experts predicted there would be a surplus of physicians by the year 2000. In the 1990s many professional health care organizations concluded there would be an oversupply of subspecialists, but perhaps too few primary care physicians, including pediatricians. More recently, waning interest in primary care specialties by U.S. medical students has heightened fears of an impending shortage of these physicians. This study questions this belief, at least for physicians who specialize in caring for the nation's children. The study uses a novel approach to projecting the work force, allowing researchers to model the impact of various influences on the physician supply.
Shipman and colleagues used the current number of working pediatricians and the child population in 2000 as the baseline for comparison. They then created a statistical model that looked at sevePage: 1 2 3 4 Related medicine news :1
Contact: Christine Pashley
Oregon Health & Science University
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