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November 1983

Textbook of Pediatric Emergency Medicine

Author Affiliations

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University Harlem Hospital Center 136th Street and Lenox Avenue New York, NY 10037

Am J Dis Child. 1983;137(11):1133. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1983.02140370089041

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


Once upon a time, a small but vocal group of pediatricians began to agitate the halls of academic pediatrics about the need for recognition of something they called comprehensive care. While these assistant professors, and I count myself among them, were never terribly precise about their definition of this term, they did agree that it involved those areas of pediatrics that their more traditional academic colleagues did not view as important or scholarly or scientific. During the ensuing 20 or more years, I have watched the catch phrases change with the seasons: comprehensive care turned into primary care, pediatric clinics turned into ambulatory care, and public health turned into community pediatrics, or its more recent version, community-oriented primary care. Despite these changes in labels, the definitions of the scope of these general areas of pediatric medicine have remained vague. At best, one can say that all of these phrases describe