American Academy of Pediatrics
|American Academy of Pediatrics|
|Motto||Dedicated to the health of all children|
|Headquarters||Elk Grove Village, Illinois, United States|
|AAP 2012-2013 President||Thomas K. McInerny, MD, FAAP (2012–2013)|
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is an American professional association of pediatricians, headquartered in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, and maintains its Department of Federal Affairs office in Washington, D.C.
The academy was founded in 1930 by 35 pediatricians to address pediatric healthcare standards. It has 60,000 members in primary care and sub-specialist areas. Qualified pediatricians can become fellows.
The academy has approximately 390 employees, and it runs continuing medical education (CME) programs for pediatricians and sub-specialists. The academy is divided into 14 departments and 26 divisions that assist with carrying out its mission.
It has the largest pediatric publishing program in the world, with more than 300 titles for consumers and over 500 for physicians and other health-care professionals. These publications include electronic products, professional references/textbooks, practice management publications, patient education materials and parenting books.
The academy has published hundreds of policy statements ranging from advocacy issues to practice recommendations. The academy's policy website contains all current academy policies and clinical reports.
In 2009, the national office and four of its State chapters provided training support to 49 pediatric practices to improve adherence to well-established asthma care guidelines. The percentage of patients at participating practices with well-controlled asthma (as defined by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) rose from 58 to 72 percent.
In a 2012 position statement, the academy stated that a systematic evaluation of the medical literature shows that the "preventive health benefits of elective circumcision of male newborns outweigh the risks of the procedure" and that the health benefits "are sufficient to justify access to this procedure for families choosing it and to warrant third-party payment for circumcision of male newborns," but "are not great enough to recommend routine circumcision for all male newborns". The academy takes the position that parents should make the final decision about circumcision, after appropriate information is gathered about the risks and benefits of the procedure. The 2012 statement is a shift in the academy's position from its 1999 statement in that the academy says the health benefits of the procedure outweigh the risks, and supports having the procedure covered by insurance.
Since the AAP revised its circumcision policy statement, it has received criticism from human rights and medical organizations around the world.
[O]nly 1 of the arguments put forward by the American Academy of Pediatrics has some theoretical relevance in relation to infant male circumcision; namely, the possible protection against urinary tract infections in infant boys, which can easily be treated with antibiotics without tissue loss. The other claimed health benefits, including protection against HIV/AIDS, genital herpes, genital warts, and penile cancer, are questionable, weak, and likely to have little public health relevance in a Western context, and they do not represent compelling reasons for surgery before boys are old enough to decide for themselves.
The AAP ignores so many important topics that it is hard to know where to begin. For example, the anatomy and function of the foreskin are not mentioned in their documents, even though they propose to cut it off without first considering the harm and pain that result from its removal. The AAP’s circumcision recommendations contradict its own bioethics policy statement, which requires pediatric care to be based only on the needs of the patient. Non-therapeutic circumcision is incompatible with widely accepted ground rules for surgical intervention in minors.
AAP response to criticism
In April 2010, the academy revised its policy statement on female circumcision, with one part of the new policy proving controversial. Although condemning female circumcision overall, this statement suggested that current federal law banning female circumcision had the unintended consequence of driving families to perform the procedures in other countries, where these girls faced increased risk. As a possible compromise, this policy statement suggested that physicians have the option to perform a ceremonial "nick" on girls as a last resort to prevent them from being sent overseas for full circumcision. This particular position proved controversial to advocates for a full ban on female circumcision under any circumstances and concern from other medical groups that even a "nick" would be condoning this widely rejected procedure. One month later, the academy retracted this policy statement.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says that although U.S. firearms-related deaths have dropped since the 1990s, guns were responsible for over 80 percent of teen homicides in 2009 and were the most common suicide method among teens. The AAP believes pediatricians should discuss guns and gun safety with parents before babies are born and at children's annual exams. It also advocates for, among other things, more background checks, an assault weapons ban, and federal research on gun violence. 
Ethical guidelines to pediatric genetic testing
- Sheppard–Towner Act - opposition by the AMA to this federal act providing for maternity and infant care nationwide led to the founding of the AAP.
- "Contacting the American Academy of Pediatrics". American Academy of Pediatrics. 2004-05-25. Retrieved 2013-03-30.
- "Pediatric History Center". American Academy of Pediatrics. Retrieved 2013-03-30.
- "AAP Facts: Membership". American Academy of Pediatrics. Retrieved 2013-03-30.
- "Departments & Divisions". American Academy of Pediatrics. Retrieved 2013-03-30.
- "AAP Facts: Publications". American Academy of Pediatrics. Retrieved 2013-03-30.
- "AAP News". American Academy of Pediatrics. Retrieved 2013-03-30.
- "AAP Journals: Pediatrics - The Flagship Journal of the AAP". American Academy of Pediatrics. Retrieved 2013-03-30.
- "Advocacy & Policy". American Academy of Pediatrics. Retrieved 2013-03-30.
- "National Academy and Affiliated State Chapters Support Pediatricians in Improving Asthma Care, Leading to Better Guideline Adherence and Disease Control, Fewer Acute Episodes". Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. 2013-06-05. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
- "Circumcision Policy Statement". Pediatrics 130 (3): 585–586. 2012-08-27. doi:10.1542/peds.2012-1989. PMID 22926180.
- Rabin, Roni (2012-08-27). "Benefits of Circumcision Are Said to Outweigh Risks". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-03-30.
- Brown, Eryn (2012-08-26). "Pediatricians' Group Shifts in Favor of Circumcision". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-03-30.
- Tanner, Lindsey (2012-08-27). "Circumcision Benefits Outweigh Risks and Insurers Should Pay; Pediatricians Revise Stance". Associated Press (via National Post). Retrieved 2013-03-30.
- "Stellungnahme Dr.med. Wolfram Hartmann, Präsident des Berufsverbands der Kinder- und Jugendärzte, zur Anhörung am 26. November 2012 zum Gesetzentwurf der Bundesregierung: „Entwurf eines Gesetzes über den Umfang der Personensorge bei einer Beschneidung des männlichen Kindes“ und zum Gesetzentwurf der Abgeordneten Marlene Rupprecht, Katja Dörner, Diana Golze, Caren Marks, Rolf Schwanitz, weiterer Abgeordneter: „Entwurf eines Gesetzes über den Umfang der Personensorge und die Rechte des männlichen Kindes bei einer Beschneidung“" (in German). Berufsverband der Kinder- und Jugendärzte e. V. 2012-11-19. Retrieved 2013-03-30.
- "Cultural Bias in the AAP’s 2012 Technical Report and Policy Statement on Male Circumcision". American Academy of Pediatrics. Retrieved 2013-03-30.
- Svoboda, J Steven; Van Howe, Robert S (2013-03-18). "Out of step: fatal flaws in the latest AAP policy report on neonatal circumcision". Journal of Medical Ethics. doi:10.1136/medethics-2013-101346. Retrieved 2013-03-30.
- "New ARC Article Finds Fault With Pediatric Organization’s Support for Circumcision, Provoking its Formal Response". Attorneys for the Rights of the Child. 2013-03-16. Retrieved 2013-03-30.
- "The AAP Task Force on Neonatal Circumcision: a call for respectful dialogue". Journal of Medical Ethics. 2013-03-18. doi:10.1136/medethics-2013-101456. Retrieved 2013-03-30.
- Belluck, Pam (2010-05-06). "Group Backs Ritual ‘Nick’ as Female Circumcision Option". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-03-30.
- "Joint RCOG/RCPCH statement on the AAP policy statement on FGM". Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. 2010-05-12. Retrieved 2013-03-30.
- "American Academy of Pediatrics withdraws policy statement on female genital cutting". American Academy of Pediatrics. 2010-05-27. Retrieved 2013-03-30.
- Belluck, Pam (2010-05-26). "Doctors Reverse Stand on Circumcision". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-03-30.
- Pittman, Genevra (2012-10-18). "Pediatricians call for strict gun laws to protect kids". Reuters. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
- Rho, Helena (2013-02-01). "The Pediatricians vs. the NRA: How the gun lobby is trying to gag doctors from talking about kids and guns". Slate. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
- Viebeck, Elise (2013-04-29). "Pediatricians to push for gun control on Capitol Hill". The Hill. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
- "American Academy of Pediatrics Gun Violence Policy Recommendations" (PDF). January 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-21.