The purpose of this paper is to clarify the relationship between that well-established branch of medicine called Pediatrics and the less well-defined discipline of Growth and Development. I shall not take the time to review the long and honorable history of the study of growth in all its many ramifications. As physicians our concern is with biological growth as it relates to the development of a person—a particular individual human being. Since human growth involves an especially long and significant period of maturation, my title includes the word development. Moreover, the growth of any one human organism never occurs in a vacuum but always within its own milieu, to which the growing developing organism has to adapt. Hence the title quite properly includes the word adaptation. I shall suggest that Pediatrics as a field of knowledge is essentially a subdivision of the science of Human Growth.
Many of you in
WASHBURN AH. Human Growth, Development, and AdaptationAddress of the American Pediatric Society President. AMA Am J Dis Child. 1955;90(1):2–5. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1955.04030010004002