Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.1
Benjamin Spock, MD, probably the most famous American pediatrician of the 20th century, said: “Pediatrics is politics.”2 C. Everett Koop, MD, former surgeon general, recently stated: “In the long run, child health is about advocacy.”3 The articles in this supplement document the importance of activity on a community level (“politics” is from the Greek word polis, meaning “city” or “community”) and child advocacy by pediatricians. Many pediatricians already work at the community level to improve child health. Some devote significant portions of their professional lives to work outside of the office or hospital in community health and child advocacy to help address the many pressing needs of children. One of the goals of producing this supplement was to help catalyze the broader dissemination of this type of work within pediatrics. It is not reasonable to expect every pediatrician to start a free clinic or change a state's Medicaid laws, but it is possible to imagine that, someday, 80% of pediatricians will be spending a few hours per month on activities related to community pediatrics. In addition, pediatricians can play an important role within the American Academy of Pediatrics and with funders and insurers to help create more extensive opportunities for involvement in these activities. We look forward to future supplements and articles recording these achievements. Fifty thousand pediatricians advocating regularly on behalf of children would change the world.
- Accepted December 22, 2004.
- Address correspondence to Jeffrey Kaczorowski, MD, FAAP, Gosilano Children's Hospital at Strong, PLC/CARE Program, 601 Elmwood Ave, Box 777, Rochester, NY 14642. E-mail:
No conflict of interest declared.
- ↵Mead M. Margaret Mead attributed quotes. Available at: http://en.wikiquote/wiki/Margaret_Mead. Accessed February 18, 2005
- ↵Maier T. Dr. Spock: An American Life. New York, NY: Basic Books; 1998:317
- ↵Mullan F. Reagan, Clinton, tobacco, and children: an interview with C. Everett Koop. Health Aff (Millwood).2004;23 :180– 187
- Copyright © 2005 by the American Academy of Pediatrics