The first Sections in the Academy were established in 1948. In that year, Sections on Surgery, Allergy and Mental Growth and Development were approved by the AAP Executive Board. These groups were designed to provide a continuing education experience for Academy members with an interest in a particular aspect of pediatrics. Meetings were usually held at the time of the time of the Academy Annual meeting and consisted of scientific presentations from members the Section. There was minimal staff support with one person assigned to arrange meeting space and coffee breaks.
In the early 1980’s, the Academy Executive Board received several requests to form new Sections. The pros and cons of expanding the number of Sections were discussed by the Board. It was decided that opening the Academy to new Sections would broaden the base of support for children’s issues, provide a means of communication between pediatric surgeons, medical subspecialists, and the membership at large, contribute to the healthy growth of the Academy, and assist in bringing all physicians who share an interest in child health under the umbrella of the Academy.
The request to approve a Section required the signature of at least 40 Academy members. Only physicians who were spending at least 50% of their time caring for children were eligible for membership in a Section.