This review highlights recent advances in four major areas that are relevant to office practice: office laboratory procedures, economics of practice, adolescent risk-taking behavior in terms of sexually transmitted diseases, and urinary tract infections. Who should be screened for diseases and where these screening tests should be done are addressed, keeping the practicing pediatrician in mind. Next we review current office economics, including whether professional courtesy should be continued, how our practices are going to be increasingly influenced by guidelines developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments, and the new Clinton Health Plan if it survives Congress, and finally how all of these issues will affect our expected income in the years ahead. As pediatricians strive to retain adolescent patients in their practices, they will need to find appropriate ways of counseling these patients concerning risk behaviors that could result in sexually transmitted diseases or HIV infections. Should we leave the comfortable confines of our offices to participate in these counseling programs for adolescents, and are there lessons from existing successful International Health Programs that we can use? Finally, urinary tract infections (UTIs) continue to be a common cause of childhood infections with possible serious long-term sequelae. Can we do a better job of diagnosing UTIs, has improved treatment become available, and is prevention of recurrences possible? Once the diagnosis has been made, how can we best evaluate these children with UTIs for underlying urologic abnormalities? It is our hope that the practicing pediatrician will be better prepared to face these issues having read this review.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health