American Academy of Pediatrics

American Academy of Pediatrics

3990 John R. Street on the campus of and in front of Harper Hospital

There is an interesting history of the basic change the medical profession makes in viewing the needs of their clients and how they should be treated. Shortly after Europeans discovered what were once known as the Red, the Yellow, the Black and the Brown (Malaysian) races, some medical authorities assumed that there were large biological differences distinguishing the races and calling for different treatments. At least in the Americans colonies, those who took medical issues seriously realized by the end of the 1700s, that blacks and whites were biologically pretty similar although popular beliefs and stereotypes about racial differences persisted.

Early in the Twentieth Century, there was no medical specialty focused specifically upon the health issues of children. Public health officials expressed much concern about infant and maternal mortality but there was an assumption that children were, in terms of their physical characteristics, miniature adults. If a doctor could treat adults, he or she could just as readily treat children.

Gradually this assumption was challenged and some physicians recognized the special needs of children. As a result, thirty five physicians specializing in the treatment of children met at Harper Hospital on June 24, 1930 and founded the American Academy of Pediatrics. The organization grew rapidly as the medical profession recognized the need for much specialization. By the early Twenty-first Century this organization counted more than 60,000 members.

Although founded along John R in Detroit, the American Academy of Pediatrics no longer has their headquarters in the Motor City. Their main office is now located in Washington, D. C.

City of Detroit Local Historic District: Not Listed
State of Michigan Registry of Historic Places: P25019 Listed: July 29, 1980
State of Michigan Registry Historical Marker: Placed July 29, 1980. This is visible from John R and faces the massive Harper Hospital Building.
National Register of Historic Sites: Not listed
Photograph: Ren Farley; May 24, 2005


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