I take the honour which is being bestowed on me today as another welcome sign that the estrangement between pediatrics and child psychology is nearing its end and the partners on either side are contemplating a serious engagement, if not the propect of future marriage with each other. There are many other indications which point in the same direction. I only need to mention the fact that there are now places of learning where the head of the department combines in his own person training and functions in physical as well as mental child care; or that pediatricians are considered essential consultants in child guidance clinics, or that some pediatricians participate in the discussions of interdisciplinary hospital groups, or that, occasionally, child psychiatrists and even child analysts are called to the bedside of hospitalized children for consultation.
There is no reason, on the other hand, to feel entirely optimistic and to relax efforts towards further re-alignment. Cooperative attitudes between the two disciplines can also be regarded still as few and far between and, above all, confined to selected medical specialities and a small number of selected, furthest advanced, and enlightened centers. There exist still many children's wards where bodily care is so paramount that any thought about the child's mental concerns is excluded as intrusive and disruptive. There are, above all, the many surgeons who, rightly or wrongly, feel that their difficult task cannot be accomplished except by determined and exclusive concentration on the defective body part which needs repair.
- Copyright © 1975 by the American Academy of Pediatrics