This year marks the 42nd anniversary of the American Academy of Pediatrics. From its original 35 members, in this short span of years, the Academy has become a progressive, rapidly growing, vigorous group of more than 14,000 Fellows-four-fifths of all the United States pediatricians and a representative percentage of the pediatricians in Central and South America and Canada. During this interval, the Academy has consistently developed its programs and activities to advance and promote the health and welfare of children. Yet for the first 35 years we were basically an educational, disease-oriented organization, with little impact on community-oriented medical services, or on the socioeconomics of health care.
Fortunately in the past several years there has been a decided change in the policies, priorities, and direction of the Academy. This is best reflected by its recent expanded goals and objectives in a complete revision of Article III, Section I of its Constitution. Even though we are still primarily disease-oriented physicians, we must not forget the problems that are deterrents to good health. We can hardly expect mcdicine to solve every social, political, and economic ill of the ghetto, suburbia, and the rural areas of our country; however, we do have an important role to play and we do have an important contribution to make in our communities. These areas, large or small and wherever they may be, will not have the same medical health and manpower needs, nor the same priorities, and will continually need our individual and collective attention.
The United States has more physicians per capita than all but three or four other nations.
- Copyright © 1972 by the American Academy of Pediatrics