- November 25th 2011
The nation's pediatricians and family physicians who care for young patients are clustered primarily in large cities, leaving many small communities devoid of doctors to care for their children, a new study says.
In an analysis of where such physicians practice nationwide, researchers determined that there are enough doctors to care for U.S. children, if only they were more evenly distributed.
"The evidence is very strong that we have an adequate physician work force for children," said pediatrician Scott A. Shipman, MD, MPH, lead study author and assistant professor at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. "The [child] population isn't growing that much. The problem there really is maldistribution."
The number of general pediatricians grew 51% to 38,981 between 1996 and 2006, and the number of family physicians increased 35% to 83,081. Meanwhile, the number of U.S. children grew by just 9% to 73.7 million, according to the study published in the Jan [Read more]