The media play a key role in virtually every concern that pediatricians and parents have about the health of children and adolescents – violence, drug use, sex, eating disorders, obesity, school performance, and physical inactivity. Because of the importance of educating pediatricians and parents about the effects of media on children and adolescents, the AAP Council on Communications and Media (COCM) sponsors the annual Media Visiting Professorship.
Each year COCM invites hospitals and institutions to apply to host a pediatric media expert who spends 1 to 2 days at the selected institution conducting lectures, seminars, or rounds. Preference will be given to those institutions that can supply an audience of pediatricians, pediatric residents, and medical students and link with the community to include a presentation to parents and/or teachers.
COCM will support the visit by providing a pediatric media expert to serve as the visiting professor, and by paying the expert's honorarium, travel, lodging, and meal expenses for up to two days. (Limitations apply and will be discussed with the host institution upon selection.)
Previous MVP courses have focused on media effects on children. However, the committee is seeing greater institutional interest in more societally integrated media issues and media training to use media to promote health and advocate for children's issues.
Last year, the MVP program broke new ground by partnering with the institution and local community in a medically underserved area to examine how media can be used to connect with a diverse community and serve as a tool to address health and socioeconomic disparities. In addition, the effects of media on health and wellbeing was presented to community members and leaders, including students at the high school.