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Saw/talked to medical specialist, past 12 months

Codes and Frequencies

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SAWSPEC identifies sample children and sample adults who had seen or talked to "a medical doctor who specializes in a particular medical disease or problem (other than obstetrician/gynecologist, psychiatrist, or ophthalmologist)" during the past twelve months.

SAWSPEC is one of several variables identifying specific types of health care practitioners that respondents had consulted in the previous twelve months. Interviewers began the series of questions by saying, "During the past 12 months, that is, since [12 month reference date], have you seen or talked to any of the following health care providers about your own/[sample child's] health?" Other types of health care practitioners identified in the survey are: "a chiropractor" (SAWCHIR); "an optometrist, optician, or eye doctor (someone who prescribes eye glasses)" (SAWEYEDR); "a foot doctor" (SAWFOOT); "a general doctor who treats a variety of illnesses (a doctor in general practice, family medicine, or internal medicine") (SAWGEN); "a doctor who specializes in women's health (an obstetrician/gynecologist)" (SAWGYN);"a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, psychiatric nurse, or clinical social worker" (SAWMENT); "a nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or midwife" (SAWRNPA); and "a physical therapist, speech therapist, respiratory therapist, audiologist, or occupational therapist" (SAWTHERA).


This variable is completely comparable over time.


  • 1997-2018: Sample adults age 18+ and sample children under age 18.


  • 1997-2018