The absolute number of physicians caring for children is increasing, yet significant unmet health needs in the pediatric population exist. The majority of child health objectives established by the Surgeon General for the year 1990 were not achieved. With nearly 12 million children uninsured, and millions more underinsured, children's access to care is inadequate. The American Academy of Pediatrics believes that this situation is due in part to the current shortage and geographic maldistribution of pediatricians in the United States.