In A Final act of what I can only interpret as retribution for the tasks imposed upon them, your Program Committee drafted its chairman to set up the concluding program of this session in a form of a panel on the topic, "Can the New Pediatrics be Practiced?"
Fortunately, no restrictions as to content or participants were given and for this, at least, my thanks to the committee.
Periodic episodes of self-examination by various segments of the medical profession have been among the more salutary advances of Medicine for generations, but increasing emphasis upon the change in pediatric practice seems to date back only about 3 years to a Letter to the Editor of the Journal of Pediatrics by Dr. Frank L. Tabrah in December, 1957. This letter quoting an article of the November, 1956 issue of Medical Economics, stated among other things that "1/3 of the pediatricians in practice were dissatisfied" and contained such challenging statements as, "well-babies still frequent the pediatrists' office, but it is inconceivable that any physician with intelligence and interest in the unusual, can long survive the routine of playing grandmother for years on end in a well-baby practice. Few men will knowingly accept such a career—in time the specialty may lose the top quality men it has attracted in past years, pediatric medical office practice is not enough; there are too many private pediatric practices being started today that will be abandoned from sheer boredom." Dr. Tabrah's letter was followed by a reply by one of our panelists, Dr. Lee Hill, and in the same issue by an article entitled "Pediatric Rewards" by Dr. A. H. Parmelle, Sr.