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Australian general practitioners in training spend less time with peds patients than with adults
Date:8/22/2012

nsultations with pediatric patients are most likely to be used for the primary care management of chronic disease, behavioral and developmental assessments and counseling, and preventive care," he says. "But the relative paucity of longer consultations for children seen in this study suggests that registrars may not be gaining experience in these types of clinical experiences as part of their training."

This is of particular concern, Freed says, because there is a plethora of behavioral and development issues that arise especially during the 5-14 age range.

"We are not saying all age groups should have the same proportion of longer consultations. However, the magnitude of the variation between the age groups of patients is concerning," Freed says. "Simply put, some types of visits for children take more time than others. If registrars do not gain adequate experience in providing primary care for children with chronic illness or conducting behavioral assessments or providing preventive counseling, they will enter independent practice unprepared to care for children."

Specifically with regard to children, Freed, a pediatrician, believes that registrars must see enough normal development at different ages to be able to recognize abnormal development.

In Australia, many current government health care strategies are focused on the needs of a growing aging population. While the actual number of children has increased by about 12 percent since 1996, the proportion of children in the country aged 0 to 19 years has fallen from 38 percent in 1971 to 25 percent in 2010.

This is indicative of a demographic trend where the population of adults and seniors is rising at a faster rate than that of children.

"As the proportion of children in general practice will likely continue to fall over the coming decade, specific efforts and interventions may be needed to ensure that general practitioners do not simply train to become p
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Contact: Mary F. Masson
mfmasson@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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