IT WOULD SEEM most appropriate that if we in American pediatrics were to be given an opportunity, in the words of the immortal Robert Burns, "to see ourselves as others see us" that this be given by a fellow countryman of his! Such is the case in the most interesting article entitled "Pediatrics in America—Impressions of a Visit," the lead article in the July, 1962, issue of the American Journal of Diseases of Children, by Dr. John O. Forfar, Consultant Pediatrician at the Western General Hospital, Edinburg, and Senior Lecturer in Child Health at the University of Edinburgh. Dr. Forfar is kind enough to present us with his impressions of a visit lasting 3 months and including some 10 academic centers in 21 hospitals along the East Coast with some few in the Central and Western America, each visit taking from 1 to 14 days.
He starts by making some interesting comparisons between pediatrics in the United States and Great Britain. He notes that although in general there are definitely more physicians per unit of population in the United States than in the British Isles (e.g., USA 1:760, Great Britain 1:900), the percentage of specialists is considerably higher in our country than in his. He also notes that in the United States there are reported to be three general practitioners for five specialists, as compared with three general practitioners for one specialist in England. He further reports that the United States is said to have approximately 9,000 pediatricians, two-thirds of whom are certified, while all of Great Britain has only 250.
- Copyright © 1962 by the American Academy of Pediatrics