Early in 1959 an editorial in Pediatrics (23:253, 1959) entitled "Can the new pediatrics be practiced?" referred to some obstacles facing pediatricians now entering general practice. It seemed that the scope of pediatrics and the knowledge of children had been extended enough in recent years to justify the term new pediatrics, and that these advances were becoming difficult to apply in a hurried general pediatric practice. The question was raised as to whether it was not somewhat urgent to take more deliberate steps to make it easier and more inviting to practice pediatrics as a truly sophisticated specialty—to take cognizance of the improved capabilities of pediatricians and to foster recognition of the comprehensive service they can render when the working conditions are favorable. Furthermore, it was emphasized that there appeared to be need for concern about the future appeal of the practice of pediatrics rather than with the fate of pediatrics as a branch of medical science, and that this distinction was fundamental to intelligent discussion.
Now we have an opportunity to consider the opinions of leaders within the American Academy of Pediatrics in the following series of papers. These were presented at the 1960 Spring Session of the Academy in a panel discussion organized by a prominent official of the Academy to deal with the question posed by the editorial a year previously.
Some of the participants took serious exception to the term new pediatrics. Less seriously, one gains the impression they might have preferred Ye Olde Pediatrics to describe the prevailing practice, to go with their suggestion it simply needs to be made "better."