Are Pediatricians Ready for the New Guidelines on Lead Poisoning?

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Abstract

Objective

To assess: (1) pediatricians' knowledge of lead poisoning including the most recent literature on the subject, and (2) their screening practices.

Results

Sixty-nine percent (391/556) of those responding practiced primary care and 27% (153/556) were subspecialists. They were evenly distributed throughout the state. Of the respondents, 62% were male, 86% were white, and 72% trained at a university program. The median year for training completion was 1978. Demographic differences were not demonstrated (chi squared (chi2)) between primary care pediatricians and subspecialists.

Conclusions

Although primary care pediatricians (self-designated) are more knowledgeable about lead poisoning than their subspecialist colleagues, there are still deficiencies, and screening practices must be modified in both groups. To successfully implement the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, physician education must be a priority. Pediatrics 1994;93:178-182; lead poisoning, physician education, questionnaire.

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