Health Services Financing and Utilization
timing of physician visits
In 2004, 11.8 percent of children under 18 years
of age had not seen a physician or other health care professional
in the previous year (not including overnight hospitalization, trips
to the emergency room, home visits, or dental visits). Older children
were more likely than younger children to go without a physician
visit. More than 15 percent of 15- to 17-year-olds had not had a
physician visit in the previous year, compared to only 5.9 percent
of children under 5 years of age.
Across all age groups, Hispanic children were
the least likely to have seen a physician in the prior year;
non-Hispanic White children were most likely to have seen
a physician, except among children under 5 years of age,
among whom non-Hispanic Black children were the most likely.
At all ages, Hispanic children were approximately twice
as likely as non-Hispanic White children to have had no
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends
that children have eight preventive health care visits in
their first year, three in their second year, and at least
one per year from middle childhood through adolescence.