Preschool children living in area probability samples of households in a slum and a middle class neighborhood were followed with bimonthly household interviews for 1 year. Their sources of medical care at the beginning and end of the year were compared. In both districts private physicians and clinics were used. Four-fifths of the middle class children and one-third of the slum children used private physicians. Greatest consistency in choice of the same provider at the beginning and end of the year was shown by middle class children using a private physician; least was shown by slum children using a clinic. With increasing income, middle class children were somewhat less consistent. Less than 1 year as a patient, and mother's complaint that she could not talk to the doctor enough were associated with change by the middle class but not the slum. A move of place of residence and a large number of illnesses in the child were associated with change in the slum but not in the middle class neighborhood.
- Received October 13, 1970.
- Accepted March 8, 1971.
- Copyright © 1971 by the American Academy of Pediatrics