Peering Into the Future: Pediatrics in a Changing World

Document Type


Publication Date



Over the last decade, health care has experienced continuous, capricious, and ever-accelerating change. In response, the American Academy of Pediatrics convened the Vision of Pediatrics (VOP) 2020 Task Force in 2008. This task force was charged with identifying forces that affect child and adolescent health and the implications for the field of pediatrics. It determined that shifts in demographics, socioeconomics, health status, health care delivery, and scientific advances mandate creative responses to these current trends. Eight megatrends were identified as foci for the profession to address over the coming decade. Given the unpredictable speed and direction of change, the VOP 2020 Task Force concluded that our profession needs to adopt an ongoing process to prepare for and lead change. The task force proposed that pediatric clinicians, practices, organizations, and interest groups embark on a continual process of preparing, envisioning, engaging, and reshaping (PEER) change. This PEER cycle involves (1) preparing our capacity to actively participate in change efforts, (2) envisioning possible futures and potential strategies through ongoing conversations, (3) engaging change strategies to lead any prioritized changes, and (4) reshaping our futures on the basis of results of any change strategies and novel trends in the field. By illustrating this process as a cycle of inquiry and action, we deliberately capture the continuous aspects of successful change processes that attempt to peer into a multiplicity of futures to anticipate and lead change.