Taiwan Pediatric Association


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The Evolution of Taiwan Pediatric Association

On January 4, 1906, while Taiwan was still under the rule of Japan, the Pediatrics became its own specialty after it was split from the Department of Internal Medicine of Taiwan Governor's Office Taihoku Hospital.(”Taihoku” is the Japanese pronunciation for “Taipei”.)

The first medical college in Taiwan was founded in 1936 as Taihoku Imperial University Medical College, which incorporated The Governor’s Office Taihoku Hospital as its affiliated hospital two years later. Modern Pediatrics in Taiwan was thus established. The Taiwan branch of the Japan Pediatric Association, which became the forerunner of the Taiwan Pediatric Association, held meetings 3 times every year in different parts of Taiwan.

After the war ended in 1945, the connection between Taiwanese pediatricians and the Japan Pediatric Association was severed. In December 1959, 31 pediatricians decided to organize their own pediatric society to serve as an entity officially representing Taiwan on the international stage and to publish its own professional magazine.

The first Members' General Meeting took place on the eve of National Children's Day, April 3, 1960. During the meeting, the group’s rules and regulations were established, and the pediatric society adopted its official name as the “Pediatric Association of the Republic of China.” This was the first professional medical society in Taiwan (the second one being the Anesthesia Society founded in 1961). For political reasons, the title of the society was often challenged in various international meetings after 1971, until ultimately the name was changed to the “Taiwan Pediatric Association” in 1999.

At inception, five main tasks were listed for the association, namely: 1) publication of professional and other relevant magazines, 2) scheduling of regular conferences and presentation of research papers, 3) cooperation and coordination with international pediatric research programs, 4) support of local studies in clinical and preventive pediatrics, and 5) the mediation of medical-legal problems.

The Association was very active from its very beginning. In keeping with changing times and social demands, the promotion of children's welfare came to the forefront of the Association’s agenda.

First, the Association formed an Editorials Committee and a Medical-Legal Problems Mediation Committee. Only a month after founding, the first issue of the Acta Pediatrica Sinica was published. In addition, after the passage of legislation for specialists’ programs in Taiwan in 1987, the society’s scope was further expanded to include training, certifications and continuing medical education of pediatric subspecialists as well as serving as one of the consulting agencies for the National Health Insurance Administration since 1995.

The Association continues to grow and is increasingly active internationally. There are currently 4,169 active members, of which 3,902 are certified pediatricians. The society joined the International Pediatric Society (IPA) and the Association of Pediatric Societies of the South East Asian Region, APSSEAR (renamed as Asia Pacific Pediatric Association, APPA, in 2003), participating, leading, and hosting meetings for these organizations.

Academic Activities of the Society

1. Academic Presentations

A. Medical Presentations at General Meetings: Twice a year in April and November, national as well as international experts are invited to give talks on important topics and participate in group discussions.

B. Educational Seminars: Twice a year in January and July, the Association holds lectures and cases studies, often with subjects catering to local needs.

C. Pediatric Continuing Medical Education: Three times a year in March, June and September, continuing education seminars are held in smaller scales for local chapters. Additional seminars are held as needed.

D. Combined Conferences for Cases Studies: As early as 1956, pediatricians from National Taiwan University Hospital(NTUH) and Provincial Taipei Hospital held conferences for case studies once a week on Wednesday afternoon. After the establishment of the Pediatric Association, the weekly conferences were expanded to include all hospitals of the whole Taipei area. The meetings became twice monthly in 1976 and chaired by different teaching hospitals in Taipei area. Today such programs have been expanded to 8 other areas around Taiwan, including Keelung, Hsinchu, Lanyang, Hualien, Mid-Taiwan, Tainan, Kaohsiung and Pingdong. By popular demand, case studies in Pediatric sub-specialities such as nephrology, cardiology as well as neonatology were later added.

2. Awards

The purpose of these awards is to honor all clinicians, young and old, who actively participate and contribute to clinical research, including primary pediatric medicine, public health, and/or activities promoting international exchange of medical knowledge. Among all the medical societies in Taiwan, we offer the highest number of awards, including the "Taiwan Pediatric Association Award" and "Award for Contribution to Pediatrics", along with about 15 other awards, all to encourage clinical research and the presentation/publication of papers.

3. Publications

In July, 1956, the first issue of the Clinical Pediatrics Quarterly, edited by the pediatricians of NTUH, was published. It was discontinued after the Pediatric Association was established. The same editors then started the Acta Pediatrica Sinica Quarterly, which had its official debut in 1960 with a circulation of 500.

The journal was originally listed in the Index Medicus of the National Library of Medicine in the United States. Although it was removed in 1973 when China replaced Taiwan in the United Nations, this Association was readmitted to the International Congress of Pediatrics in July of 1989 (under the official name of "Chinese Taipei"), and its journal was registered again in the Index Medicus and also in the Medeline-Medilar.

Since 1985, the journal has been published bi-monthly. Starting in 1997, the journal was listed in the EMBASE data base. In 1999, the journal was renamed the Acta Paediatrica Taiwanica, and again in 2007 when the journal was combined with Clinical Neonatology to become “Pediatrics and Neonatology”, published by Elsevier. In July 2009, the journal was listed in the data base of SCIE of Thomson Reuters. As of the Report of JCR, Pediatrics and Neonatology was recognized into SCI, with an Impact Factor of 0.747, ranked 89 among 107 journals in the Pediatric field.