American Academy of Pediatrics Drifts Left

The American Academy of Pediatrics Drifts Left

An Editorial Commentary by Guest Contributor,  J. Todd Martin

          The other day I got together with a friend for lunch.  I don’t even remember how we met some years ago, but it is our common love for this great country that gives us lots to talk about every time we meet.  My friend is a board certified pediatrician in active practice affiliated with a large university hospital and she explained to me that she is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FAAP).  I subsequently learned that this is the ultimate academic achievement for a hands-on, practicing pediatrician.

          My friend, who I will call Dr. X, has shared with me in the past her increasing concern, which is apparently shared by many other pediatricians, about the current motives and goals of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).  At one time they were the leading advocate for children worldwide and their publications were replete with reports of important research as well as review articles and other vital information for pediatricians.  Many seem to think that in recent years, the AAP has become more of a political action committee, advocating as much for left wing causes as for the health and welfare of children.

          As soon as the waiter seated us at a table, Dr. X plopped down a copy of the April 2016 issue of the AAP News which is described as ‘The Official Newsmagazine of the American Academy of Pediatrics’.  We had hardly finished with our pleasantries when she launched into a blistering diatribe about the ‘latest liberal pablum dished out by the academy’.  She opened the magazine to page 6 and pointed to a letter from the President of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Benard P. Dreyer, MD, FAAP.  The headline at the top of the page read, ‘We Have Solutions That Can Prevent, Ameliorate Poverty’.

          “Well, that sounds good to me,” I said.

          “That’s what I thought, too, when I first read the headline,” Dr. X went on.  “I thought to myself…finally, the academy is going to address the root causes of poverty and make some recommendations.  Good for them!  But as I delved into the article I was stunned to find not one reference to the real causes of poverty…you know, like having children too early, having children out of wedlock, having too many children, being raised in a single parent family, dropping out of school, having no choice but to attend poor quality schools, and I could go on and on.  Not one mention of any of these critical factors that often come as a package and which almost always guarantee a lifelong struggle with poverty.  Apparently, the academy’s solution is to just throw more of other people’s hard earned tax dollars at those living in poverty, along with increasing the minimum wage, of course, and more free food in the schools and that kind of thing.  Never mind, throwing more money at the problem has never worked in the past.  The 22 trillion dollars spent since LBJ started the War on Poverty in the 1960s has had very little impact on the poverty rate.  Those short term solutions may be needed for a while, but in the end this problem doesn’t need a band aid, it needs major surgery!”

          At this point, I just let my friend ramble on.  Dr. X is always so entertaining to listen to and she articulates her analysis of the issues so well that I’m often inspired to look into them further on my own.  As the hour moved along, we talked of many other things, most of which were a lot more fun, before concluding our tete-a-tete.  As we parted, Dr. X left her copy of the AAP News with me and just browsing through it confirmed what she had said.  Mixed in with some very erudite and useful sounding presentations I found articles advocating abortion, supporting Obama’s executive action on immigration and arguing against religious accommodation for contraceptive coverage, as well as the usual left wing caterwauling about climate change and racism.  I have a feeling that most parents and perhaps even some doctors are not aware of the left wing agenda hiding behind the green trimmed black gowns at this venerable academic medical institution.  I guess I’m going to have to do a little more looking into this.


Editor’s Note:  The actual name, gender and location of Dr. X have been withheld for privacy considerations.  The personal opinions expressed by Dr. X as presented by J. Todd Martin in this editorial commentary do not necessarily reflect the views of What Makes US Great.         


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