The first general meeting of the Academy of Pediatrics was held in Atlantic City in 1931. A year previously a meeting had been held in Detroit, at which time officers were elected and a constitution was adopted. The meeting at Atlantic City was a report of committees appointed the year before. This was followed by a business meeting. During this session Dr. Henry Gerstenberger, newly appointed head of the Committee on Hospitals, made a formal recommendation from his group. One of the first acts of the Academy, he stated, should be an evaluation of the current methods of teaching pediatrics in medical schools. The recommendation was also that an analysis should be made of the care of children in hospitals and other children's institutions. Such a survey should be repeated periodically.
Dr. Gerstenberger emphasized his suggestion by stating that only projects of this nature could justify a new pediatric society. He and his committee felt strongly that this new organization should not be just scientific and social, for other pediatric societies fulfilled that need. It should have as a goal the greater welfare of all children. This point also was the theme of the presidential address of Dr. Isaac Abt at this same meeting.
The suggestion of a Child Care Survey was referred to the Committee on Child Health Relations and to the Committee to Cooperate with Governmental and Non-medical Agencies. No continuing program ever followed this suggestion. Events described here show that it was a task no new organization could successfully have undertaken.
In 1935, four years later, Dr. Clifford G. Grulee, Secretary of the Academy, submitted what might be called a modification of the suggestion made by Dr. Gerstenberger.
- Copyright © 1954 by the American Academy of Pediatrics