History of the APA

APA Oral History Project


The Academic Pediatric Association: The First 50 Years
Kenneth B. Roberts, MD, Ruth E.K. Stein, MD, Tina L. Cheng, MD, MPH Academic Pediatrics 11(3):173-180

At the 1953 meeting of the American Pediatric Society and Society for Pediatric Research (APS-SPR), Barbara Korsch convened an informal gathering of individuals who shared the notion that outpatient care deserved more attention. Chairs, including those who were "not stereotyped with ambulatory pediatrics," such as Saul Krugman and Emmett Holt, attended, validating ambulatory pediatrics as "worthy of attention."1 Informal meetings ensued annually for several years. By the end of the decade, the sentiment of individuals such as Loren MacKinney was that it was time "to actually do some work."2 Barbara Korsch surveyed the meeting participants to determine what that work might be. The issues included space requirements; cost of providing outpatient care; time and workload; appointment systems; record system; relationship of general pediatrics to specialty clinics; standards for ambulatory care of patients with special needs and adolescents; health supervision; extensions of the traditional outpatient organization, such as home care; psychologic aspects; staffing; research potential; teaching; and child development.3 There was no lack of work to be done!
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The Ambulatory Pediatric Association
Joel J. Alpert, MD
Pediatrics 95(3):422-426.

Used with Permission.

The Ambulatory Pediatric Association (APA) held its 34th annual meeting in Seattle, Washington from May 2 to 5, 1994. Registrants participated in 31 workshops and 18 special interest groups. The Association of Ambulatory Pediatric Services held its first meeting in Swampscott, Massachusetts on May 2, 1960. Thirty-two pediatricians attended, most of whom were directors of pediatric outpatient departments (OPDs). The first Association of Ambulatory Pediatric Services scientific meeting was held at the Traymore Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey on May 3, 1961. Five of ten papers submitted were presented in one evening session.

This essay describes the remarkable story of four decades of the APA and how this organization of over 1,500 members became the recognized voice of ambulatory academic pediatrics. The story is of achievements hoped for by the APA founding parents and accomplished by three generations of APA members.

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