A future for pediatrics

February 1, 2000

How will pediatrics be practiced in 2010? What will pediatricians need to know to provide the care children will need in the decades to come? How can we ensure that pediatricians in training and in practice have the skills and knowledge they should? How many pediatricians should we train?

A future for pediatrics

EDITORIAL

 

How will pediatrics be practiced in 2010? What will pediatricians need to know to provide the care children will need in the decades to come? How can we ensure that pediatricians in training and in practice have the skills and knowledge they should? How many pediatricians should we train?

Three years ago the Future of Pediatric Education II (FOPE II) project was undertaken to answer those questions and more. Leaders representing pediatricians in all areas, from those in clinical practice to pediatric department chairs, from generalists to research scientists, gathered available information about the current state of education and delivery of care to pediatric patients. They built on the work of the 1978 task force on the Future of Pediatric Education, broadening both the scope of their membership and the intent of their recommendations. Some of those recommendations are summarized in this month's Updates section. The entire FOPE II task force report was published as a supplement to the January issue of Pediatrics.

The FOPE II task force report provides us all with principles that should guide education, patient care patterns, workforce decisions, and public health efforts for children. It sets an agenda for those of us who seek to influence legislation, research priorities, financial support for training and for continuing education, and goals for competencies of current and future pediatricians. Implementation of its recommendations will require coordinated leadership, but embedded in them are tasks for each of us.

The first principle guiding the report states, "The pediatrician is the best and most extensively trained professional to provide quality health-care services to infants, children, adolescents, and young adults." Attention to the task force report and to its recommendations will be critical to ensuring that pediatricians maintain that distinction.

Julia A. McMillan, MD, Editor-in-chief of Contemporary Pediatrics, is Vice Chair, Pediatric Education, and Director, Residency Training, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore.

 

Julia McMillan. A future for pediatrics. Contemporary Pediatrics 2000;2:9.