ALTHOUGH I have considered presenting some of the work of our group on this occasion, I have elected, rather, to discuss an issue which I feel to be of importance not alone to those of us interested in child development, but to all pediatricians (and indeed to all interested in child welfare). I refer to the role of child development in pediatrics—most particularly academic pediatrics.
To the members of this section it is no surprise to observe that teaching and research in child development have not been integrated into the mainstream of academic pediatrics. It continues, with rare exceptions, to be treated as a minority group in the academic community, even though a knowledge of child development is a major concern of the practicing pediatrician. This relative neglect causes me to inquire as to whether we are to have two cultures or one in pediatrics. At the outset I wish to indicate that my bias is clearly in favor of a unitarian view. For, I believe we continue this dichotomy at our peril in pediatric teaching and research.
Perhaps we can deal with this problem better if we understand how we came to be this way. I will, therefore, attempt to develop my thesis from an historical perspective. These periods are arbitrarily defined; although starting dates are given, there are no end points, since each new period is telescoped into the rich history of its antecedents (Fig. 1).
The prescientific era in pediatrics (prior to 1900) was rich in contributions to our understanding of child development.
- Copyright © 1967 by the American Academy of Pediatrics