The role of a generalist in academic medicine has been diminished because of the proliferation of specialized research and treatment in the hands of the subspecialist. Yet many observers believe that this has resulted in gaps in research and teaching concerning common health problems, especially those seen in office practice. To correct this trend, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has supported for 10 years a fellowship program to prepare academic pediatric generalists. A total of 111 pediatricians have completed the fellowship. Two thirds are now in full-time academic positions. By late 1988, they had published 332 papers and had received more than $20 million in grant support. A majority of departments of pediatrics have relabeled their divisions of ambulatory pediatrics as divisions of general pediatrics and have broadened these divisions' responsibilities. In spite of some difficulty obtaining research support, the careers of these fellows and the changes in pediatric departments support the thesis that there is a need for and a rebirth of academic general pediatrics.
- Received June 30, 1989.
- Accepted October 4, 1989.
- Copyright © 1990 by the American Academy of Pediatrics