Dr. Fischer has asked us to comment on three topics: (1) the "new pediatrics," (2) residency training requirements and (3) pediatric practice—in the space of 10 minutes. I can dispose of the first topic very quickly. I don't know what is meant by has supplied us with a nicely-worded definition, I still don't know what the "new" means. It seems to me that his definition has been applicable as the objective and goal for pediatricians ever since pediatrics was established. If the question before us was "can better pediatrics be practiced?" I would have a much clearer concept of what the concern is about. To that question my answer would be "sure, it can" and then we could go on to a discussion of methods of improving teaching of pediatrics at all levels, medical school, internship and residency in preparation for pediatric practice, and of how the practice of pediatrics can be done better than we're doing it now. If what we're talking about is better pediatrics rather than new, the sooner we abandon "new" the better.
But it is my impression that the term "new" pediatrics, as was indicated by Dr. Fischer, arose in response to the criticisms voiced by a few, that pediatrics no longer affords a satisfying professional career. The reasons cited were long hours, hard work, low pay as compared with other specialties, and the monotony of practiceas compared to the glamour of residency training. The young pediatrician, it was maintained, who enters practice fresh from his exciting residency becomes frustrated and disillusioned when he finds himself, for economic reasons, unable to dispense the high quality of comprehensive medical care he is prepared to offer and which he believes he should.