The pediatrician cannot engage in the practice of his specialty very long before he is made quite aware of his potential influence on the youth of the community. His peculiar position as a person of authority but also of sympathetic and permissive capacity provides him with an unusual opportunity, if not an obligation, to serve the community. Whether the pediatrician chooses to recognize this tremendous opportunity. and to face this very real obligation depends to a large extent on the degree of confidence he has in his ability to handle the difficult problems which obtain in the fringe areas of the practice of medicine.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, in outlining "The Pediatrician's Role in Preventing Delinquency," is facing squarely the potential responsibility of the pediatrician in an area which is of great concern not only to medical persons, but also to parents, educators, social scientists, juvenile authorities, churchmen—and children.