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We are seeking applications for consideration in the nominating process for key leadership roles in the APA. Candidates interested in the following positions are encouraged to apply:

1. President-Elect

2. Research Committee Chair

3. PAS Workshop Chair

4. Nominating Committee Members (2)

Please click here for more information on how to apply for one of these positions. The deadline to apply is May 15, 2017 at 12 pm ET.

Register for one of APA's pre-PAS events:

Thursday, May 4: Pediatric Academic Generalist & Hospital Medicine Fellows' Conference (AGP Fellows Meeting)

Friday, May 5: Quality Improvement Methods, Research and Evaluation Conference (QI Meeting)

APA Remembers Barbara Korsch, MD

On behalf of Dr. Kathleen Nelson: It is with great sadness that I report the death of Dr. Barbara Korsch, one of the original members of the Academic Pediatric Association (APA).  The history of the APA has its founding happening in Dr. Korsch's hotel room at a meeting of the APS and SPR where "ambulatory" pediatricians were made to feel that their generalist scholarship was not particularly relevant to the members of these societies of pediatric specialists.  The rest is  our history--from the Ambulatory Pediatric Association to the combined APS-SPR-APA meeting to the now PAS meeting and the relevance of academic general pediatrics as the forerunner to the generalist specialties of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP) and Pediatric Hospital Medicine as well as the disciplines of Academic General Pediatrics and Pediatric Health Services Research.  Dr. Korsch was a pioneer in the fields of doctor-patient communication and DBP and chaired the AAP's Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health that developed the "Guidelines to Health Supervision" which was the forerunner of Bright Futures, a mainstay of pediatric training in health supervision.  She was also elected to the Institute of Medicine.  Below is the tribute written about her by Children's Hospital Los Angeles, her academic home for over 50 years.

 To view a video of Barbara Click Here

This past weekend, Barbara Korsch, MD, passed away four days shy of her 96th birthday on March 30. A pioneer in the field of doctor-patient communications, Dr. Korsch was a physician at Children's Hospital Los Angeles for more than 50 years and served as head of the Division of General Pediatrics from 1981-89. She is survived by her son, Robert Ward, and predeceased by her husband, Robert Ward, MD, her sister Sybille, and her parents.

A memorial service will be held at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, with details to be announced in April. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Barbara Korsch Ward Foundation at 330 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401.

c: CHLA Remembers a Pioneer

Today, it seems like common sense that doctors should listen to their patients, empathize with them, and find ways to communicate effectively with them. This hasn't always been the case, though. What was once ignored, or even scoffed at, is the standard of care today. For that, we have Dr. Korsch to thank.

Korsch's life would be considered extraordinary even if she hadn't changed the face of modern medicine. Her family fled Nazi Germany before World War II, where her father was persecuted for being an outspoken socialist. She entered one of the best medical schools in the country, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, at the young age of 20, at a time when few women were studying to be physicians. She graduated in just three years as part of an accelerated program to train more doctors during wartime. Then, she went to work in medicine.

Early in her career, while director of the Outpatient Department at New York Hospital – Cornell Medical Center in New York City, she began to notice communication problems between doctors and the parents of her young patients. She also noticed that often these families didn't return for follow-up visits. When she investigated, she found that parents felt the doctors hadn't understood, or worse, hadn't cared about their concerns.

In 1961, Korsch came to work at CHLA. Though her husband, Robert Ward, MD, was chief of the Department of Pediatrics, nepotism didn't get her on the staff. In fact, it almost kept her off of it. Leadership said it wouldn't be appropriate for her to work for her husband, so she spent some time at another hospital, where she conceived of a landmark 1,000-patient study to address the importance of doctor-patient communication. She also landed a sizeable grant to fund the project. In need of a higher patient volume, she came back to CHLA with her grant in hand, and got to work.

Korsch and 10 research assistants videotaped live doctor-patient encounters, then interviewed the patient families immediately after the meeting and again two to three weeks later. The results were stark; for patient families who said they were highly dissatisfied, only 17 percent were compliant with the doctor's orders. Her research showed that a doctor's effectiveness as a communicator had a direct connection to the quality of care the patient ended up receiving. The smartest doctors in the world were useless if they couldn't convince their patients that they had their best interests at heart.

Korsch's study was published in Scientific American, a magazine read by the general public in addition to the scientific community, and it received one of the largest responses to any of the magazine's articles at the time.

As a result of her groundbreaking findings, she set about to create teaching methods that would help pediatric residents realize that parents were as much patients as their sick child. She landed on a supremely effective teaching tool: videotaping residents during interactions with patients, reviewing the tapes and offering feedback.

Though getting the medical community to embrace her findings was an uphill battle, she persevered, and her tenacity was recognized. Korsch was elected to the prestigious Institute of Medicine in 1981—CHLA's first-ever member, and the first female to be elected from the University of Southern California (USC). Among her many accolades, she received the Ambulatory Pediatric Association Distinguished Career Award, the American Academy of Pediatrics C. Anderson Aldrich Award, and the Faculty Lifetime Achievement Award from USC in 2006. She was also awarded the first-ever Children's Hospital Academic Affairs Appreciation for Longevity of Service Award in 2011.

Korsch continued to supervise residents in CHLA's Continuity Clinic, where new doctors learn the skills of dealing with patients and families, until a few years ago. The indelible mark she has left on CHLA and the entire field of medicine will cement her legacy for generations.


Chief Medical Officer, CHLA Health Network

Interim Department Chair, Pediatrics
Interim Vice Chair, The Saban Research Institute

Dr. Korsch was highlighted last year for Doctors' Day, which you can find on CHLA's blog.   

Academic Pediatric Association

Research Scholars Program (RSP)

Program Directed by:
Janice Hanson, PhD, EdS
Alex Kemper, MD, MPH, MS
Alan Mendelsohn, MD

For more information on the programs, send an email to info@academicpeds.org

    7th Annual Advancing Implementation And Quality Improvement Science
    May 5, 2017
    San Francisco, California

    2017 QI Registration


    2017 Pediatric Academic Societies
    PAS 2017: "Call for Workshop Reviewers, Workshops, Scientific (Non-Abstract) Sessions"

    2017 Pediatric Hospital Medicine
    2017 Pediatric Hospital Medicine
    July 20 - 23, 2017
    Omni Nashville
    Nashville, Tennessee

    The Academic Pediatric Association (APA) awarded a $5000 grant to the Continuity Special Interest Group (SIG) to find ways to increase HPV vaccination rates in the United States. The Continuity SIG chose to sponsor a resident HPV video contest, with the aim that residents would create a public service announcement video encouraging resident colleagues to provide a strong recommendation for HPV vaccination. Twelve program expressed interest in participating and nine videos were submitted. The Continuity SIG Steering Committee met and identified the top three videos. The first place winner was Maimonides Medical Center Department of Pediatrics, Brooklyn, NY, and leader, Jonathan Strysko. The second place winner was UCSF Fresno Pediatrics, Fresno, California, and leader, Clarisse Casilang, and the third place winner was University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, and leaders Natalie Torres and Puja Sood.

    Article in Academic Medicine: New Century Scholars: A Mentorship Program to Increase Workforce Diversity in Academic Pediatrics

  • October 2016 Newsletter: APA Focus
    Read the latest updates.

  • Last spring, the APA co-sponsored a conference on Child Poverty with the Roosevelt Institute and the Century Foundation; this report was derived from those presentations, and may be useful to use in our continued advocacy on this issue. (7 Lessons About Child Poverty)

Academic Pediatrics Supplement on Childhood Poverty

Click here for a look at the Academic Pediatrics Supplement on Childhood Poverty

7th Annual Advancing Implementation And Quality Improvement Science
May 5, 2017
San Francisco, California

2016 Pediatric Academic Societies

PAS 2017: "Call for Workshop Reviewers, Workshops, Scientific (Non-Abstract) Sessions"

2017 Pediatric Hospital Medicine
2017 Pediatric Hospital Medicine
July 20 - 23, 2017
Omni Nashville
Nashville, Tennessee

Spot Light

Editorial img
Efforts to Diversify the Academic Pediatric Workforce
Darcy A. Thompson, MD, MPH, Lee M. Pachter, DO, David Keller, MD.
JAMA Pediatrics. 2014;168(4):390 doi:10.1001/

"A recent paper in JAMA Pediatrics highlights the importance of diversifying the academic pediatric workforce. Over the past decade, the APA has been a national leader in this area through the New Century Scholars Program, which provides mentorship and networking opportunities to under-represented minority residents interested in pursuing academic careers, particularly in the areas of health and health care disparities and social determinants of health. "
Read the article

Lee M. Pachter, DO
Darcy A. Thompson MD MPH
David Keller, MD



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