Q:

What is the future outlook for pediatricians?

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Quick Answer

As of 2012, pediatrician job opportunities were predicted to grow by about 18 percent between 2012 and 2022 across the United States. Employment opportunities in rural and low-income areas are expected to increase due to health care reforms. The expected growth is based on the growing U.S. population.

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Full Answer

The career opportunities for pediatricians with subspecialties, such as neurology, are expected to be higher; there is a shortage of pediatricians with subspecialties, as there is an increasing demand for their services. Predictions about how pediatricians perform their jobs in the future involve new approaches to treat diseases like autism, breaking apart the catch-all diagnosis into specific subtypes, each with its own treatment. Otitis media, or inflammation of the inner ear, can be diagnosed by technology, eliminating the dependence on visual diagnosis.

Antibiotic resistance is predicted to become a problem for pediatricians because manufacturers are not developing enough new antibiotics for children. Children in the United States are expected to be healthier due to better immunization, improved public health and better technology for diagnosing diseases.

Critics of new electronic health records systems suggest that their growing adoption increases costs and creates technology problems but does not necessarily improve efficiency over paper records.

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