Millions of people consult physicians in the United States each year. According to data from the 1997 and 2002 National Health Interview Surveys, in most specialties the number and proportion of adults, children, and pregnant adult women consulting physicians increased over the five-year period1; the number and proportion of persons consulting general physicians who see adults and children are notable exceptions (see accompanying table2).
The proportion of adults who consult with general physicians who see adults and children declined by 3 percent, and the proportion of children declined even further. To the extent that general physicians who see adults and children mostly are family physicians, this finding is consistent with data from other national surveys that reveal a decline in visits to family physicians.3
|Number of persons (millions) who consulted:||Percentage* of total who consulted:|
|A physician||General physicians who see adults and children||General physicians who see adults and children||Genera physicians†||Obstetricians/gynecologists||Other subspecialists|
|Pregnant Adult Women|