Reflections on why pediatrics does not have a primary care physician shortage at present

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Pediatrics



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Fellowships and Scholarships; Humans; Interprofessional Relations; Pediatrics; Physicians; Primary Health Care; Specialization




I propose several reasons to explain why pediatrics is not experiencing the same primary care crisis as internal medicine: (1) most pediatricians (generalists and subspecialists) share a common philosophy concerning child health care; (2) generally, the medical problems of children are not the result of poor life choices; (3) pay scales for general pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists are not as disparate as they are in internal medicine; (4) child-focused physicians in other disciplines besides pediatrics (eg, pediatric surgery, pediatric radiology, etc), are often closer to pediatric colleagues than they are to colleagues in their own fields who treat adults; and (5) usually, pediatric subspecialists treat general pediatricians as respected peers. Although there are exceptions to these statements, I suspect that these five factors are common scenarios in our field.

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Citation: J Pediatr. 2011 Apr;158(4):523-4. Link to article on publisher's site

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