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New pediatrician workforce policy addresses growing challenges in health care

HANOVER, NH A report from the Committee on Pediatric Workforce, authored by David Goodman, M.D. of Dartmouth Medical School, has resulted in a revised policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), challenging current assumptions about the need for greater numbers of doctors and raising concerns about a continued lack of racial diversity and geographic distribution in the pediatric workforce. The report and new policy statement appear in the July 5 issue of the journal Pediatrics.

"This review provides a timely, focused examination on the future of pediatrics in our country," said Dr. Goodman, who is a professor of pediatrics and of community and family medicine at Dartmouth Medical School, and a pediatrician at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. "We saw the need to accompany the new AAP policy statement with a comprehensive report that presents background information and examines emerging trends to reflect our unchanging goal to provide effective healthcare to children." He noted that although the health of elderly populations is the subject of much current media focus, children constitute a quarter of the U.S population and consume an increasing portion of health care services.

In the report, "The Pediatrician Workforce: Current Status and Future Prospects," Goodman and the Committee on Pediatric Workforce describe important recent changes in the pediatrician workforce, which include:

  • New majority status of female pediatricians, a historic first for any medical specialty in the U.S.;
  • Positive growth in medical students choosing careers in pediatrics, leading to an 18% increase in pediatricians per child in the last decade;
  • Increased reliance on international medical graduates, with approximately one third of practicing pediatricians attending medical school outside the U.S. and Canada;
  • Limited improvement in the ethnic and racially diversity of pediatricians that is not keeping pace with an i
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  • Contact: Andy Nordhoff
    mednews@dartmouth.edu
    603-650-1492
    Dartmouth Medical School
    5-Jul-2005


    Page: 1 2 3

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