MiscellaneousReferral patterns to a pediatric orthopedic clinic: pediatric orthopedic surgeons are primary care musculoskeletal medicine physiciansPan, Tommya; Kish, Alexander J.a; Hennrikus, William L.b Author Information aDepartment of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, Penn State College of Medicine bWLH: Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Bone and Joint Institute, Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA Received 1 November 2021 Accepted 20 March 2022 Correspondence to Tommy Pan, BA, Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, Penn State College of Medicine, 700 HMC Cres Rd, Hershey, PA 17033, USA, Tel: +1 908 922 6800; e-mail: [email protected] Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics B: November 2022 - Volume 31 - Issue 6 - p 613-618 doi: 10.1097/BPB.0000000000000979 Buy Metrics Abstract In 2004, Reeder and in 2012, Schwend reported that inappropriate nonsurgical referrals to pediatric orthopedic clinics create a misuse of resources. Additional authors have called for re-emphasis and additional training in musculoskeletal medicine for primary care physicians (PCP) to improve the confidence, knowledge and performance when managing musculoskeletal conditions. The current study compares the diagnoses referred to a pediatric orthopedic clinic with diagnoses recommended for referral by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines to determine if any improvement in the quality of referrals has occurred since Reeder and Schwend’s article. A chart review of new referrals to a pediatric orthopedic clinic during a 3-month-period was performed. Data were collected on age, sex, referring diagnosis, referral source, final diagnosis and treatment. In total 230 new consults were evaluated. The referral source was a PCP in 169 (73.5%) cases, 30 (13%) self-referrals by a parent, 19 (8.3%) from another orthopedic surgeon, 9 (3.9%) from a neurologist and 3 (1.3%) from another specialist. Fifty percent of referrals met the criteria outlined in the AAP guidelines for referral to a pediatric orthopedic specialist and 48% were classified as primary care musculoskeletal conditions. During the 15 years since the publication of Reeder’s study and despite a limited re-emphasis on musculoskeletal education, the percent of inappropriate referrals to a pediatric orthopedic clinic remains unchanged at 50%. We support an expanded musculoskeletal educational effort aimed at the medical, resident and pediatrician level, online decision-making aids, and implementation of a standardized referral form with the specific criteria of the AAP included. Copyright © 2022 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.