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PHYSICIAN VISITS

Based on data from the 2002 National Health Interview Survey, approximately 11.4 percent of children under the age of 18 had not seen a physician or other health care professional in the prior year. Older children were more likely than younger children to go without a physician visit. Nearly 16 percent of children ages 15-17 had not had a physician visit in the prior year, compared to only 5.9 percent of children under 5.

Across all age groups, Hispanic children were the least likely to have seen a physician in the prior year, compared to non-Hispanic White and non-Hispanic Black children. At every age group, Hispanic children were at least 50 percent more likely than non-Hispanic White children to have had no physician visits.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children have eight health care visits in their first year, three in their second year, and one a year, generally, from middle childhood through adolescence.

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