Pediatricians have a special interest in families. Among medical specialists, pediatricians are unique in that almost all of their patient encounters involve two generations — children and their parents.

The success of most preventive and therapeutic interventions for children depends on the active participation of parents. Yet the pediatric community has not been as vocal or effective in promoting its role in family-centered care or in speaking publicly about family policies as it could have been.

It is not at all certain that the public views the profession as one concerned with supporting families. Because of this, pediatricians need to attend to the well-being of families — as well as children — in their work to advance children's status in public policy.

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