Last month i closed with a reference to leadership. The thought running through my mind was that each of us owes something to our specialty—a kind of tribute to those who have gone before us and who gave of themselves to build the specialty of pediatrics. Ordinarily we think of this "debt" being paid off by the scientist in the laboratory and the clinician at the bedside. And, of course, their contributions have been and continue to be tremendous. But, I submit, everyone who is a pediatrician owes something to further the advance of pediatrics. The hallmark of our specialty from its beginning has been involvement in community service. Many pediatricians not only apply the new knowledge of disease prevention, nutrition and child care to the rearing of children in private practice, but by advice and personal service participate in community health projects to extend these new concepts to all children. Not only have these contributions of individual pediatricians aided greatly to establish pediatrics as a specialty, but have helped enormously to give it a privileged place in public opinion. Every practitioner can exercise this kind of leadership in his or her community.
This same dedication by many pediatricians has made the Academy a leader among medical organizations. The Academy exemplifies a new kind of medical society—an organization concerned not only with clinical problems but the social needs of patients. The Academy, I believe, was the first medical organization to recognize the value of co-operative relationships with nonmedical groups. One of its first committees was called the Committee for Cooperation with Nonmedical Groups.
- Copyright © 1960 by the American Academy of Pediatrics