Table 92Visits to primary care generalist and specialist physicians, by selected characteristics and type of physician: United States, selected years 1980–2008

[Data are based on reporting by a sample of office-based physicians]

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Age, sex, and raceType of primary care generalist physician 1
All primary care generalists General and family practice Internal medicine
Percent of all physician office visits
Under 18 years77.879.579.784.926.126.519.916.92.02.9**
18–44 years65.365.262.167.934.331.928.229.48.611.812.713.4
45–64 years60.255.551.251.536.332.126.426.019.518.620.120.5
 45–54 years60.255.652.353.537.432.027.828.417.117.118.719.0
 55–64 years60.255.549.949.735.432.124.723.921.820.021.721.9
65 years and over61.652.646.543.937.528.120.218.522.723.324.523.6
 65–74 years61.252.746.644.137.428.119.720.322.123.024.521.9
 75 years and over62.352.446.443.637.628.020.816.823.523.724.525.3
Sex and age
 Under 18 years77.378.177.784.225.624.118.316.42.03.0**
 18–44 years50.851.851.557.938.035.934.237.111.515.014.419.3
 45–64 years55.650.649.446.634.431.028.727.420.519.219.819.2
 65 years and over58.
 Under 18 years78.581.182.085.526.629.121.717.42.02.8**
 18–44 years72.171.367.272.132.530.025.326.17.310.311.910.9
 45–64 years63.458.852.554.937.732.824.925.118.918.220.221.3
 65 years and over63.953.548.947.038.728.320.918.722.923.325.025.3
Race and age 2
 Under 18 years77.679.278.584.026.427.**
 18–44 years64.864.461.466.634.531.929.230.78.610.611.012.8
 45–64 years59.654.249.351.936.031.527.326.819.217.617.120.1
 65 years and over61.451.945.143.536.627.520.318.923.323.123.023.0
Black or African American:
 Under 18 years79.985.587.390.023.720.2**14.3*2.29.8**
 18–44 years68.568.365.074.931.731.922.*15.9
 45–64 years66.161.661.751.038.631.223.320.322.626.935.925.9
 65 years and over64.658.652.852.949.028.9*18.518.114.228.733.431.7
Age, sex, and raceType of primary care generalist physician 1 Specialty care physicians
Obstetrics and gynecology Pediatrics
Percent of all physician office visits
Under 18 years1.31.2*
18–44 years21.720.820.424.10.70.7*
45–64 years4.****39.844.548.848.5
 45–54 years5.****39.844.447.746.5
 55–64 years2.****39.844.550.150.3
65 years and over1.41.11.5*1.7****38.447.453.556.1
 65–74 years1.71.62.0*1.9****38.847.353.455.9
 75 years and over1.0*0.6*1.0*****37.747.653.656.4
Sex and age
 Under 18 years. . .. . .. . .- - -49.450.758.066.822.721.922.315.8
 18–44 years. . .. . .. . .- - -1.00.7*1.7*
 45–64 years. . .. . .. . .- - -****44.449.450.653.4
 65 years and over. . .. . .. . .- - -****41.848.856.960.5
 Under 18 years2.
 18–44 years31.730.429.634.10.60.7*1.027.928.732.827.9
 45–64 years6.****36.641.247.545.1
 65 years and over2.11.82.6*3.0****36.146.551.153.0
Race and age 2
 Under 18 years1.11.0*
 18–44 years21.021.120.422.00.70.7*0.8*
 45–64 years4.****40.445.850.748.1
 65 years and over1.41.21.5*1.6****38.648.154.956.5
Black or African American:
 Under 18 years2.8*3.4***12.7*10.0
 18–44 years27.117.920.731.6****31.531.735.025.1
 45–64 years4.83.5*2.4*4.8****33.938.438.349.0
 65 years and over********35.441.447.247.1

Estimates are considered unreliable. Data preceded by an asterisk have a relative standard error (RSE) of 20%–30%. Data not shown have a RSE of greater than 30%.

. . .

Category not applicable.

- - -

Data not available.


Type of physician is based on physician’s self-designated primary area of practice. Primary care generalist physicians are defined as practitioners in the fields of general and family practice, general internal medicine, general obstetrics and gynecology, and general pediatrics and exclude primary care specialists. Primary care generalists in general and family practice exclude primary care specialities, such as sports medicine and geriatrics. Primary care internal medicine physicians exclude internal medicine specialists, such as allergists, cardiologists, and endocrinologists. Primary care obstetrics and gynecology physicians exclude obstetrics and gynecology specialities, such as gynecological oncology, maternal and fetal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology critical care medicine, and reproductive endocrinology. Primary care pediatricians exclude pediatric specialists, such as adolescent medicine specialists, neonatologists, pediatric allergists, and pediatric cardiologists. See Appendix II, Physician specialty.


Estimates by racial group should be used with caution because information on race was collected from medical records. In 2008, race data were missing and imputed for 33% of visits to physician offices. Information on the race imputation process used in each data year is available in the public use file documentaiton. Available from: http://www​ Starting with 1999 data, the instruction for the race item on the Patient Record Form was changed so that more than one race could be recorded. In previous years only one racial category could be checked. Estimates for racial groups presented in this table are for visits where only one race was recorded. Because of the small number of responses with more than one racial group checked, estimates for visits with multiple races checked are unreliable and are not presented.

NOTES: This table presents data on visits to physician offices and excludes visits to other sites, such as hospital outpatient and emergency departments. See Appendix II, Office visits. In 1980, the survey excluded Alaska and Hawaii. Data for all other years include all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Visits with specialty of physician unknown are excluded. Starting with Health, United States, 2005, data for 2001 and later years for physician offices use a revised weighting scheme. See Appendix I, National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS). Data for additional years are available. See Appendix III.

SOURCE: CDC/NCHS, National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey.

From: Trend Tables

Cover of Health, United States, 2010
Health, United States, 2010: With Special Feature on Death and Dying.
National Center for Health Statistics (US).
Hyattsville (MD): National Center for Health Statistics (US); 2011 Feb.

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