TABLE 1.

Comparison of Pediatricians, Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, and Physician Assistants

No. of Certified ProvidersNo. of Accredited Training ProgramsLength of TrainingEducational AttainmentCertifying BodyIndependent Practice or SupervisionPrescriptive Authority
General pediatricians71 716*208Baccalaureate degree (approximately 4 y), medical school (4 y), residency (3 y)Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathy (DO)American Board of Pediatrics American Board of Osteopathic PediatricsIndependent practiceIn all states
Pediatric subspecialists13 407*970Baccalaureate degree (approximately 4 y), medical school (4 y), residency (3 y), fellowship (≥2 y)Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathy (DO)American Board of Pediatrics and other specialty boards for certain pediatric subspecialtiesIndependent practiceIn all states
Pediatric nurse practitioners585067Baccalaureate degree (approximately 4 y), 2 y of advanced education and supervised clinical trainingMaster’s degree minimum, doctoral degree in nursing (PhD, DScN) commonNational Certification from Board of Pediatric Nurse Associates and PractitionersVariation by stateVariation by state
Physician assistants40 469§ (4% in general pediatrics and pediatric subspecialties)129§Physician assistant program comprises 2 y in classroom and 25–27 mo clinical training in primary care2 y of college courses in basic science and behavioral science as prerequisites to physician assistant training. Baccalaureate degree not required§Certification by the National Commission on the Certification of Physician AssistantsDirect physician supervision in all states Regulated in all states plus District of Columbia and Guam§47 states plus District of Columbia and Guam§