Children between the ages of 5 and 18 spend a significant amount of their time in school. School health is a vital part of pediatric practice and an important concern for pediatric graduate medical education. There are few substantiated data, however, to suggest that residents entering pediatric practice or academic medicine are exposed to school health in a significant way. Many pediatricians, upon entering practice, find that they are consulted by school systems and parents whose children have problems related to school. Pediatricians find themselves unprepared for this new role and express the need for postgraduate education in school health.1-4
The American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Pediatric Education5 and the most recent report from the Pediatric Residency Review Committee have both underscored the appropriateness and importance of education in school health as an important part of the residency curriculum.6 The American Academy of Pediatrics believes that education in school health should be an important part of graduate medical education for pediatric residents and of continuing medical education for practicing pediatricians.
Many advances in pediatrics that affect the well-being of the child relate directly to the school setting. Increased attention to federal legislation (Section 504 of PL 93-112, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; parts B and H of PL 102-119, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), health education including education about the prevention of drug and alcohol abuse and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, new approaches to screening and health services in the schools, immunization requirements, physical fitness, and knowledge about the school environment—all are important aspects of school health and areas in which many residents and/or pediatricians have had little or no training or experience.
- Received April 16, 1993.
- Accepted April 26, 1993.
- Copyright © 1993 by the American Academy of Pediatrics