Practice Profiles

The Survival of Independent Pediatricians

After 44 years as an independent pediatrician, Rick Oken, M.D., offers a unique perspective on the forces shaping the field today. He advocates for a focus on quality care and deep, meaningful relationships with families even as the healthcare landscape continues to shift and change.

Rick Oken, MD, has seen more than a few things change in his 44 years as a practicing pediatrician. When he finished his residency training in the 1970s, he knew he wanted to build deep and lasting relationships with families, see kids grow up and start their own families, and maybe even treat the next generation of children. So he set up shop as a private practice in the Bay Area of San Francisco, California, and never looked back.

Now, he’s concerned that fewer and fewer young physicians are choosing this path. He sees a trend towards large entities, such as hospital and university-based systems, crowding out independent practitioners, in some cases putting pressure on them to join different tiers of employment within the system. And new physicians – motivated in part by student loan debt and a high cost of living in major metropolitan areas – are eschewing the risks involved with setting up their own business.

Stories and issues that matter most to

Independent Pediatricians.

Sharing with you the deep dedication of pediatric care, as told by independent pediatricians living and practicing in a variety of different locations and with different perspectives.

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Industry Trends

The Impact of Patient PreHistory on Pediatric Care

Dr. Michael Warner is passionate about improving the quality of healthcare through patient co-authorship of health information. That’s why he’s formed the nonprofit Patient Advocacy Initiatives and designed the Patient PreHistory tool.

Tools & Resources

Built for Pediatricians

The Independent Pediatrician is proud to provide you with a list of resources that we believe can help independent pediatricians survive and thrive. Feel free to share them and pass them on, integrating them into your pediatric community.


A Child-Centered Defense of Medicaid

Why fight for Medicaid? Pediatrician Christoph Diasio, M.D. makes a compelling case. He offers his perspective on Medicaid’s foundational role in our health care system, and proposes a vision for the future.

Medicaid plays a foundational role in the American health care system. For an informed perspective on Medicaid’s significance, look no further than Dr. Christoph Diasio. “Medicaid is this unbelievably deep and wide part of American society that people don’t appreciate,” says Dr. Diasio. “It supports much more than we realize.”