In the article below, Dr. Delbert A. Fisher provides a colorful description of the history of pediatric endocrinology and the central role played by Dr. Lawson Wilkins and other major leaders in the early development of this specialty in North America.
Read more about it in: A Short History of Pediatric Endocrinology in North America
(pdf, 318kb) Fisher D 2004, Pediatric Research, 55: 716-725
Remembering Doctor Lawson Wilkins, A Pioneer of Pediatric Endocrinology by Claude J. Migeon and Elizabeth Wilkins McMaster was published in 2014. This intimate, honest, inspiring, and moving memoir will be of great interest to pediatric endocrinologists of all ages. Supplements can be freely accessed from the International Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology.
The LWPES evolved from the biennial Johns Hopkins Endocrine Alumni (JHEA) reunions organized by Robert Blizzard and Claude Migeon. JHEA meetings were held in 1965, 67, and 71 in association with a Lawson Wilkins lecture and other presentations. The meetings were open to other than Johns Hopkins alumni and attendance grew from 35 to near 100 from 1965-71. In early 1971 Drs. Blizzard and Migeon contacted a group of 37 North American Pediatric Endocrinologists out of training for 10 years or more regarding their interest in establishing a Pediatric Endocrine Society and a sub-board of Pediatric endocrinology. All expressed interest and 24 of the 37 agreed to attend a meeting on Sunday, April 25, 1971 in Baltimore the day before the JHEA meeting. The remaining 13 were enthusiastic but were unable to attend the meeting. The attendees at the meeting voted to begin planning for a society with the objective of "the acquisition of endocrine and metabolic diseases in infancy, childhood, and adolescence."
A second larger meeting was convened on Tuesday, April 27, including 54 of the Pediatric Endocrinologists attending the JHEA meeting. Claude Migeon reviewed the discussions of Sunday and there was general interest in the concept of a new society. Possible names were discussed and a considerable number of attendees were in favor of the "The American Pediatric Endocrine Society".
A committee was appointed to nominate temporary officers. A follow up meeting was convened on April 30 at the 1971 Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) meeting in Atlantic City. Seventy-five Pediatric Endocrinologists attended, and there was again widespread interest in the new society. Two names were proposed: the American Pediatric Endocrine Society and The Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society. The Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society name was chosen. A set of temporary officers was chosen: President - Claude Migeon; Vice President - William Cleveland; Secretary - Delbert Fisher; and Treasurer - Ira Rosenthal. A Membership Committee and a Constitution and By-laws Committee were appointed headed by John Crigler and Alvin Hayles, respectively.
During the following 12 months a total of 160 members were recruited, including the 37 original founders. The first official LWPES business meeting was convened May 23, 1972 at the time of the PAS meeting. The proposed constitution and by-laws were approved; officers and directors were elected; and committee members chosen. Marvin Cornblath agreed to organize the first formal scientific meeting at the time of the 1973 PAS meeting in San Francisco. During 1972-73 the society offices were established; dues were collected; the official logo was designed; and the 1973 meeting program was developed and integrated into the PAS program.
Meetings have been held yearly since 1973 as part of the annual PAS meetings. Over the past 40 years, membership has grown to include over 1,200 active members, including 180 emeritus members and 8 honorary members. Joint meetings of the PES and The European Society for Pediatric Endocrinology (ESPE) have been held every four years since 1981.
These meetings now also include members of the Australasian Pediatric Endocrine Group (APEG), the Asia Pacific Paediatric Endocrine Society (APPES), the African Society for Paeditric and Adolescent Endocrinology (ASPAE), the Japanese Society for Pediatric Endocrine (JSPE), and the Sociedad Latinoamericana de Endocrinologia Pediatrica (SLEP).
The 10th International Meeting of Pediatric Endocrinology will be held in 2017 in Washington, DC. http://internationalmeeting2017.org/
In 2010, LWPES officially changed the Society name to Pediatric Endocrine Society (PES). The membership overwhelmingly voted to approve the name change in order that PES might be more easily identified by other professional societies, governmental agencies, industry manufacturers, and parents.
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