Demand for practitioners in obstetrics
on the demographics of the population
the desire of women to have children.
In the overall pictures, there is some gloom.
In June, 2003, the US Health and Human Services
released a CDC report that found that the U.S. birth rate has
fallenl to the lowest level since national
data have been available. The report found
that the birth rate was 13.9 per 1,000 persons
in 2002, a decline of 1 percent from the
rate of 14.1 per 1,000 in 2001 and down 17
percent from the recent peak in 1990 (16.7
per 1,000). They attributed the current low
birth rate primarily to the smaller proportion
of women of childbearing age in the U.S.
population, as baby boomers age and Americans
are living longer.
The report also found a recent downturn in
the birth rate for women in the peak childbearing
ages. Birth rates for women in their 20s
and early 30s were generally down while births
to older mothers (35-44) were still on the
rise. Rates were stable for women over 45.
However, the increasing role of the OB/GYN
can be seen in the statistics:
The key to a successful practice means finding
an area where the local statistics buck the
national trend. This includes avoiding areas
where the population is aging into the retirement
years and seeking out the areas where childbearing-capable
women are. (Note that you should consider
the growing percentage of women 35-44 who
are having babies; furthermore, more than
one-third of all births were to unmarried
women, so the target population need not
be married women.)
- more than one fourth of all children born
in 2002 were delivered by cesarean;
cesarean delivery rate of 26.1 percent
the highest level ever reported in
States. The number of cesarean births
women with no previous cesarean birth
7 percent and the rate of vaginal
after previous cesarean delivery
23 percent. The cesarean delivery
during the late 1980s through the
but has been on the rise since 1996.
- The percent of low birthweight babies (infants
born weighing less than 2,500 grams) increased
to 7.8 percent, up from 7.7 percent in 2001
and the highest level in more than 30 years.
In addition, the percent of preterm births
(infants born at less than 37 weeks of gestation)
increased slightly over 2001, from 11.9 percent
to 12 percent.
- Access to prenatal care continued a slow
and steady increase. In 2002, 83.8
of women began receiving prenatal
the first trimester of pregnancy,
83.4 percent in 2001 and 75.8 percent
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