Pediatrics in the Year 2020 and Beyond: Preparing for Plausible Futures
Although the future of pediatrics is uncertain, the organizations that lead pediatrics, and the professionals who practice within it, have embraced the notion that the pediatric community must anticipate and lead change to ultimately improve the health of children and adolescents. In an attempt to proactively prepare for a variety of conceivable futures, the board of directors of the American Academy of Pediatrics established the Vision of Pediatrics 2020 Task Force in 2008. This group was charged to think broadly about the future of pediatrics, to gather input on key trends that are influencing the future, to create likely scenarios of the future, and to recommend strategies to best prepare pediatric clinicians and pediatric organizations for a range of potential futures. The work of this task force led to the development of 8 “megatrends” that were identified as highly likely to have a profound influence on the future of pediatrics. A separate list of “wild-card” scenarios was created of trends with the potential to have a substantial influence but are less likely to occur. The process of scenario-planning was used to consider the effects of the 8 megatrends on pediatrics in the year 2020 and beyond. Consideration of these possible scenarios affords the opportunity to determine potential future pediatric needs, to identify potential solutions to address those needs, and, ultimately, to proactively prepare the profession to thrive if these or other future scenarios become realities.
- Accepted August 10, 2010.
- Copyright © 2010 by the American Academy of Pediatrics