The question this raises in NE Ohio is: Are there enough pediatricians for every family to
find a medical a medical home for their child? There is an epidemic in America. Not the Swine Flu Epidemic. This epidemic involves the rapid disappearance of individual Pediatricians and other Primary Care Physicians from the American culture.
Since 1997, the number of graduates from American medical schools who say they intend to be Primary Care Physicians has fallen from 40% to about 17%. This includes graduates who intend to become pediatricians. This trend can be traced directly to economics.
- Graduates from Medical Schools have huge expenses. They face the world owing, on average, $140,000 in tuition fees and other expenses.
- The income they would receive as Pediatricians and other PCP graduates is far less than they could earn if they were practicing medicine as a specialist.
- Federal insurance payment guidelines are much lower for pediatricians than for specialists.
Primary Care Physicians (Pediatricians, General Internists, and Family Practitioners) would be the heart of any sane medical system. PCPs see and handle 95% of a person’s medical needs, and at a fraction of the cost of specialists. In addition, they are the ones who recommend when specialists are necessary to maintain the continuity of care for a patient.
So what does all this mean for North East Ohio? Are there now, and will there be in the future, sufficient numbers of pediatricians for new families to find Primary Care Physicians who will help them take care of the medical lives of their children? And why do children and families need individual doctors rather than medical clinics and emergency rooms?
As one of Cleveland’s few remaining pediatricians in individual practice, Arthur Lavin, M.D., Advanced Pediatrics, Beachwood OH, is well versed in this topic. He is the author of Who’s The Boss? Moving Families from Conflict to Collaboration, Baby & Toddler Sleep Solutions for Dummies, and Finding a Medical Home for Your Child. Dr. Lavin’s entire career has been devoted to meeting the real needs of his
patients in regard to:
- Preventing and curing illness.
- Preventing and correcting obesity.
- Helping children and families deal with school failure.
- Helping families with parenting struggles.
He is available for comment and interview on this topic, as well as others.
For more information on Arthur Lavin, please visit: www.advancedped.com
Or call 216. 591-1515
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