A survey sent to 1,500 pediatricians, most practicing physicians for more than 15 years and nearly all in primary care, found that 74 percent of the responding pediatricians did not approve of spanking and 78 percent thought spanking never or seldom improved children’s behavior.

Pediatricians have changed dramatically in the last few decades. Only 20 percent are in the American Academy of Pediatrics and that has started politicking on the Second Amendment, illegal immigration, and numerous other political issues. As it has become more political, pediatrician views inside and outside of AAP on spanking have left the mainstream behind. According to Child Trends, AAP is diametrically opposed to the public, where the majority of parents still feel spanking can be a necessary form of discipline. In these responses, 85 percent were in the AAP.  Numerous examples of opposition to the parents they must serve has led  concerns by the 80,000 pediatricians not in the AAP that cultural preaching will lead to barriers between them and more moderate patients. 

Like most surveys, this had confounders but the confounders here were even greater. Bias is always a factor of respondents and since the survey was about corrective punishment, those with stronger opinions were most likely to reply. The survey pool was limited, a database maintained by IMS Health, and while the response rate was 53 percent that was due to four survey mailings and cash incentives of up to $20.