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Future of Academic General Pediatrics—Areas of Opportunity

  • James M. Perrin
    Affiliations
    MGH Center for Child and Adolescent Health Policy, MassGeneral Hospital for Children, Harvard Medical School, Boston Mass (Dr Perrin) and the Division of General and Community Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio (Dr Dewitt)
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  • Thomas G. Dewitt
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to James M. Perrin, MD, 50 Staniford St #901, Boston, Massachusetts 02114.
    Affiliations
    MGH Center for Child and Adolescent Health Policy, MassGeneral Hospital for Children, Harvard Medical School, Boston Mass (Dr Perrin) and the Division of General and Community Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio (Dr Dewitt)
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      The dynamic change in the United States occurring in the diversity of pediatric populations and in health care will dramatically influence many dimensions of care, teaching, research, and advocacy in academic general pediatrics. By 2025, the nonwhite and Hispanic pediatric population will increase to 50% (Figure 1),
      • Shipman S.A.
      • Lurie J.D.
      • Goodman D.C.
      The general pediatrician: projecting future workforce supply and requirements.

      Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. POP3, racial and ethnic composition: percentage of US children ages 0–17 by race and Hispanic origin, selected years 1980–2007 and projected 2008–2020. Available at: http://www.childstats.gov/americaschildren/demo.asp. Accessed February 26, 2010.

      leading the demographic change that is projected to occur in the whole United States population by 2050. This shift in population demographics is occurring concurrently with significant changes in both health care funding and the sophistication and complexity of systems caring for children, accentuated by an explosion of information technology. These latter trends have resulted in an increasing number of children and youth with health coverage, complex chronic illness, and social media–informed parents. It is in this changing environment that academic pediatric generalists have an opportunity to study and actively engage in the change through applied research and training with a great potential of positively influencing its course, and ultimately the health of children.
      Figure thumbnail gr1
      Figure 1Percentage of US children ages 0–17 by race and Hispanic origin, 1980–2009 and projected 2010–2050.
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