xi Introduction The Pediatric Way Pcause. ediatricians have always been a bit rebellious, but we are rebels with a Our overarching and unwavering cause is to improve the health and well-being of all children. Most physicians strive to be advocates for their patients, but, as pediatricians, we have a long and rich tradition of extending our advocacy beyond our practice walls and into the policies of the broader commu- nity. This has always been the pediatric way: to translate the latest science into practice and policy to improve the lives of children and their families. In fact, the very founding of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) as the professional home for physicians focused on the care of children was largely due to a policy rift between the American Medical Association (AMA) Section on Diseases of Children (the professional home for the earliest pedi- atricians in America) and the AMA House of Delegates.1 In 1921, Congress passed the Promotion of the Welfare and Hygiene of Maternity and Infancy Act, more commonly known as the Sheppard–Towner Act, which authorized the Children’s Bureau to provide matching grants to the states to improve maternal-child health and decrease infant mortality. At the 1922 spring meet- ing of the AMA, the House of Delegates passed a resolution that condemned the Sheppard–Towner Act on the grounds that it represented governmen- tal intrusion into the practice of medicine and heralded the introduction of socialized medicine.1 The Section on Diseases of Children, on the other hand, unanimously endorsed this legislation because advances in nutritional science and hygiene made it clear that additional public health measures were needed to improve the lives of children. Incensed that a section would question AMA policy, the House of Delegates subsequently passed a ruling that forbade sec- tions from commenting on AMA policy. Having silenced internal dissent, the AMA vocally opposed the Sheppard– Towner Act’s renewal, even though infant mortality rates fell during its imple- mentation.2 In 1929, Congress allowed the funding for the act to expire. Left 00-fm-9781610021524.indd 11 4/12/18 11:03 AM
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