The increase in the number of pediatricians in the U.S. will far outstrip the increase in the number of children over the next two decades, according to a study by the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. The study, one of the first to look specifically at the number of doctors who specialize in the treatment of children, predicts that the number of pediatricians will increase by 58% over the next 20 years, while the number of children in the U.S. will increase 9.3%. "We need to act now so this increase in pediatricians can be leveraged to benefit our children, not harm our healthcare system," said Scott Shipman, assistant professor of pediatrics at OHSU School of Medicine and the study's principal investigator. Pediatrics may be the only primary-care specialty to experience growth in the coming years and will reach one pediatrician for every 1,400 children by 2020, according to the study. In 1998 there was one pediatrician for every 2,040 children in the U.S., according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. -- by Michael Romano
Pediatricians per child will soar by 2020: study
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