The Josiah Macy, Jr, Foundation in recent years has sponsored a series of conferences and studies on the future of academic departments in medical schools, including obstetrics, psychiatry, and now pediatrics. The cynic, or perhaps the realist, can state with fairness that these departments were selected because they are "in trouble": the Macy Foundation has not had conferences or study groups on the future of academic internal medicine or surgery, for instance. What, then, is the cause and what is the possible cure for the troubles?
This volume on academic pediatrics results from a two-day conference, and summarizes reports and discussions of a distinguished panel of pediatricians as well as of faculty from related disciplines. The discussants do not doubt that academic pediatrics faces severe problems. Research funding is becoming scarcer, recruitment of the best research scientists for pediatrics seems to be declining, faculty support increasingly comes from patient-care fees,