Powerful trends that have influenced pediatric care in recent decades will sweep us into the new century. By looking at the major forces at work today, we can predict where we will be 10 years from now. As infectious diseases continue to decline, psychosocial disorders will take a larger share of the pediatrician's efforts. Technology will allow more effective management, but it will require strong commitment to ongoing education. More children with chronic conditions and more young adults will fall under the care of pediatricians. Prevention will retain a central role in practice. Maintaining an independent practice will become more difficult, and a wide range of delivery schemes will emerge. Relationships among pediatricians and relationships with other health care providers will be influenced significantly by these systems, which carry potential for both positive and negative impact on the quality of care and on the lifestyles of pediatricians. It is crucial that pediatricians take an active and committed role in shaping the evolution of care systems, thereby making the future what it should be for children.
- Copyright © 1995 by the American Academy of Pediatrics