The first issue of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ first journal, “Pediatrics,” was published in January 1948. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) had been in existence for 16 years, its membership growing from 304 charter members to nearly 2,200. There was a growing national need for general pediatricians, and medical education was shifting toward better pediatric training of general practitioners in medical schools and hospital internships.1 Furthermore, the AAP’s scientific sessions, the purpose of which was “to improve pediatric education by making available regularly the advances in pediatric knowledge,”1 were also growing in number. The AAP, recognizing a predictable and welcome expansion of pediatric medicine, saw the need to take ownership of its own journal and to “publish an outstanding journal whose articles will be practically helpful but which at the same time will be challenging in their scientific content.”1

There were articles in that January issue about a new immunization that included diphtheria and tetanus toxoids along with a pertussis vaccine, a hospital in-rooming unit of 4 newborn infants and their mothers, a review on polio, and a study of the average length of hospital stay of premature infants. There were also case reports, public health reports, national and international news, book reviews, and an editorial. It’s amazing to think that seventy-five years later, the content and the subjects of Pediatrics are still relevant today.

The purpose of Pediatrics holds true; as stated in the January 1948 issue, Pediatrics “publishes papers on scientific and clinical investigation in the field of pediatrics. PEDIATRICS also includes papers on public health and preventive medicine, genetics, nutrition, psychology, education, social legislation, nursing and sociology, when the subject matter is related to child health and welfare. PEDIATRICS is the medium of expression of the Academy to the medical profession and to the public.”2 What makes Pediatrics so successful are the dedicated editors, editorial board members, reviewers, and journal staff whose insight, wisdom, and innovative thinking lead to advances in science and education in pediatrics. One particular brainchild of Pediatrics worth mentioning is Pediatrics in Review, for which we on the editorial board and staff of Pediatrics in Review are substantially thankful.

Dr Robert J Haggerty, Co-Editor of Pediatrics, reported in the June 1979 issue, “Beginning in subsequent volumes of Pediatrics, readers will find a new section, PEDIATRICS IN REVIEW, a major activity in continuing education of the American Academy of Pediatrics. This 32-page supplement will be included with all copies of Pediatrics for the next two issues.”3 A banner on the front cover of Pediatrics the following month announced, “Including the FIRST edition of Pediatrics in Review” (Figure). (Please note the ironic wordplay here since the current Editor-in-Chief of Pediatrics is Dr FIRST.) In the year leading up to Pediatrics in Review’s first publication one can imagine the wordplay between the Editor of Pediatrics Dr Jerold F Lucey, Dr Haggerty, and the editorial board discussing how Pediatrics would birth and nurture a new journal committed to “providing a knowledge base necessary to stay abreast of developments in all fields of child health care.”4 The fertile minds of the editorial family of Pediatrics would provide Pediatrics in Review’s first year of subjects and authors, abstracted scientific studies, and continuing medical education questions.


July 1979 Pediatrics front cover announcing Pediatrics in Review.


July 1979 Pediatrics front cover announcing Pediatrics in Review.

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That connection between Pediatrics and Pediatrics in Review remains strong today. Editor-in-Chief Dr Lewis First and Deputy Editor Dr Alex Kemper of Pediatrics regularly interact with Editor-in-Chief Dr Joseph Zenel and Deputy Editor Dr Hugh Allen of Pediatrics in Review, trading ideas and sharing editorial experiences and reviewers. A manuscript submission that might not work for one journal may be quite appropriate for the other. Both editorial boards frequently switch members. Pediatrics publishes new findings that are pertinent to the care of children. Pediatrics in Review publishes updated reviews on those findings pertinent to the trainee and practicing pediatrician. The adoption of blogs, social media, and editorial fellows by Pediatrics in Review is the result of adapting the innovative measures in medical publishing that Pediatrics introduced. Thanks to the guidance and mentoring by Pediatrics, Pediatrics in Review is now 43 years old, with its 500th issue coming next month. We applaud Pediatrics for serving as our “Founding” journal, a scientific journal that helped shape Pediatrics in Review’s essential educational voice.

In that inaugural Pediatrics issue, AAP President, Dr John A Toomey, wrote, “PEDIATRICS, I salute you and wish you well!”5 Congratulations Pediatrics on your 75th anniversary. In the spirit of Dr Toomey, we, the editorial board and staff of Pediatrics in Review, say:

“PEDIATRICS, we salute you and wish you forever well!”

  1. Hill LF. The American Academy of Pediatrics – Its growth and development. Pediatrics. 1948;1(1):1–7

  2. Pediatrics. 1948;1(1):iv

  3. Haggerty RJ. Future Events: Pediatrics in Review. Pediatrics. 1979;63(6):937

  4. Haggerty RJ. Editorial: Pediatrics in Review. Pediatrics in Review. 1979;1:3

  5. Toomey JA. American Academy of Pediatrics, Inc. Proceedings and Reports: A Message from the President. Pediatrics. 1948;1(1):90–116