On October 22, 1970 a portion of the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics in San Francisco was devoted to a conference on the utilization of allied health workers in meeting the manpower crisis. It was jointly sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Nurses' Association and was the third and most successful of similar meetings. The first one, held at the Academy's Chicago meeting in October, 1969, provided an introduction to the concept of pediatric nurse practitioners. The second, held at the Washington meeting of the Academy in April, 1970, resulted in a frank exchange of views of the official nursing organizations and academy representatives and pointed to the need for open discussion and collaboration on the subject.
The San Francisco meeting got down to the business of a more objective analysis of issues, and though there was much heated discussion most of it was constructive. An attempt was made by the planning committee to include on the program different models of allied health workers in pediatrics. The program highlighted discussion about discharged medical corpsmen, laboratory technologists, pediatric assistants, as well as the more familiar pediatric nurse practitioner.
Of the 418 persons in attendance, 294 were nurses, 43 physicians, and 81 were other interested persons. When one of the nurses criticized the fact that there were so few physicians in attendance, Donald Frank of Cincinnati, a member of the Academy's Manpower Committee, pointed out that there was a fivefold improvement in physician attendance since the first conference.
The opening keynote address was given by Philip R. Lee, M.D., former HEW official, now Chancellor of the University of California at San Francisco, who refreshingly offered no simple solutions.
- Copyright © 1971 by the American Academy of Pediatrics