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Healthy Children

About the American Academy of Pediatrics

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and its member pediatricians dedicate their efforts and resources to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

The AAP has approximately 67,000 members in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and many other countries. Members include pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists. To be a full Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FAAP), a member must be board-certified. This means they have passed the American Board of Pediatrics certifying examination.

History of the AAP

The AAP was founded in June 1930 by 35 pediatricians who met in Detroit in response to the need for an independent pediatric forum to address children's needs. When the AAP was established, the idea that children have special developmental and health needs was a new one. Preventive health practices now associated with child caresuch as immunizations and regular health exams—were only just beginning to change the custom of treating children as "miniature adults."

AAP mission statement

The mission of the AAP is to attain optimal physical, mental and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents and young adults. To accomplish this mission, the AAP shall support the professional needs of its members.

Structure and governance

AAP board of directors

The AAP is governed by a board of directors. The executive committee, which conducts AAP business on a daily basis, consists of the president, president-elect, immediate past president, secretary/treasurer, and CEO/executive vice president. Members vote each year for a national president-elect.

Current executive committee members are:

  • President: Benjamin D. Hoffman, MD, FAAP

  • President-Elect: Susan Kressly, MD, FAAP

  • Immediate Past President: Sandy Chung, MD, FAAP

  • Secretary/Treasurer: Margaret "Meg" Fisher, MD, FAAP

  • CEO/Executive Vice President: Mark Del Monte, JD

District chairpersons

The AAP board of directors also consists of 10 members who serve as District Chairpersons, elected by members from a specific geographic area. In addition, there are three at-large members with leadership experience in AAP committees, councils and sections who are elected nationally by all members.

AAP chapters

Members also elect officers for their chapters, which serve states and territories in the U.S. and Canadian provinces. Chapters are individually incorporated, have their own bylaws, and further the aims of the national organization as well as local priorities.

The AAP is a not-for-profit Illinois corporation organized for scientific and educational purposes, exempt from income tax under Section 501(c) (3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. The AAP has been classified as an organization that is not a private foundation as defined in Section 509(a) of the Internal Revenue Code.


Continuing education

One of the AAP's major activities is to further the professional education of its members. Continuing education courses, annual scientific meetings, seminars, publications and statements from committees, councils, and sections form the basis of a continuing postgraduate educational program.

Committees, councils, sections & task forces

More than 40 national committees, work groups and task forces develop many of the AAP's positions and programs. These groups have interests as varied as injury and poison prevention, children with disabilities, sports medicine, nutrition and child health financing.

The AAP currently has 17 councils and 52 sections, which have a combined membership of more than 78,000 members with interest in specialized areas of pediatrics. This includes a section for medical students, residents and fellowship trainees with more than 17,000 members. Sections and councils present educational programs for both their members and the general membership of the AAP in order to highlight current research and practical knowledge in their respective subspecialties.


The AAP publishes Pediatrics, its monthly scientific journal; Pediatrics in Review, its continuing education journal; Hospital Pediatrics, its journal for research on inpatient care, and its membership news magazine, AAP News. It also publishes manuals on such topics as infectious diseases and school health. In its public education efforts, the AAP produces patient education brochures and a series of child care books written by AAP members, in addition to the parenting website.

Research & advocacy

The AAP executes original research in social, economic and behavioral areas and promotes funding of research. It maintains a Washington, DC office to ensure that children's health needs are taken into consideration as legislation and public policy are developed. The AAP's state advocacy staff provides assistance to chapters, promoting issues such as child safety legislation and Medicaid policies that increase access to care for low-income children.

Sources of funding

The AAP's activities and programs are funded through a wide variety of sources including membership dues, revenues from continuing medical education activities and publications, and unrestricted support from individuals, foundations, corporations and government agencies. Grants and contributions support more than 200 programs each year. Individuals and organizations may donate to the Friends of Children Fund annual campaign or through major or planned gifts to the Tomorrow's Children Endowment.

For more information on the AAP, please visit

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American Academy of Pediatrics (Copyright © 2020)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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