Objective. To determine from 2 surveys, in 1991 and 2001, 1) the proportion of pediatricians and which pediatricians report doing school health, 2) which school health activities are most commonly engaged in and whether this has changed, 3) whether training/education during residency influences doing school health later in practice, and 4) whether the amount or nature of residency training in school health (as reported by practicing pediatricians) increased over time, as recommended by various task forces.
Methods. Surveys were mailed to a 10% randomly selected group of the voting membership of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Results. An estimated 50% to 70% of pediatricians report doing school health, and a consistent 20% report having had training in school health. The nature of school health work varies in urban, suburban, and rural areas, and pediatricians who practice in rural areas are more likely to be involved in school health. When resident education in school health is offered during residency, it is associated with a higher likelihood of pediatricians’ doing school health later in practice. Recent trainees report having more residency training in school health, yet fewer recent trainees report doing school health compared with their older colleagues.
Conclusions. The gap between those who do school health and have received education in school health during residency has continued over at least a 10-year period. Recommendations include specification of school health and community pediatrics competencies for the effective practice of pediatrics in the future.