Our History

2018 marked SAHM’s 50th anniversary promoting the health and well-being of adolescents. While we look ahead to more years in service to the cause of advancing adolescent health around the world, we also took the opportunity to look at where we’ve been. “On April 28, 1968, representatives of adolescent clinics throughout the United States and Canada met and unanimously agreed to the formation of a Society for Adolescent Medicine.

The goals of the Society are to improve the quality of medical care for adolescents, to encourage the investigation of normal growth and development during adolescence and of those diseases and medical conditions that affect adolescents, to stimulate the creation of medical services for adolescents, and to foster and improve the quality of training of those individuals providing medical care to adolescents.

During the first year, Dr. J. Roswell Gallagher of the Yale University School of Medicine would serve as President, Dr. Felix Heald of the George Washington University School of Medicine as Vice President, Dr. Andrew Rigg of the Children’s Hospital of Washington, D.C. as Treasurer, Dr. Dale C. Garell of the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles as Executive Secretary, and Drs. Henry Cooper of the University of Colorado Medical Center, Joseph Michelson of the Jewish Hospital and Medical Center of Brooklyn, New York, and Joseph Rauh of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center as members of the Executive Council.

The Society intended to offer opportunities for the discussion of teaching, research and other common problems of mutual interest in Adolescent Medicine. It would publish and disseminate information released to adolescents to all interested organizations and professionals and would identify, investigate and list opportunities for careers in Adolescent Medicine. In addition, it would help plan and coordinate professional educational programs concerning the adolescent and will hold an annual meeting.

With activities and interests as varied as those described above, it seemed only natural and, indeed, inevitable that the Society for Adolescent Medicine would be created to help promote and foster those ideals which will strengthen and encourage the development of medical care for adolescents. It is fitting and, indeed, an honor that the Society has, as its first President, Dr. J. Roswell Gallagher who, in his capacity as a school physician at Andover, developed the first service for adolescents’ medical care nearly 20 years ago.”

Adapted from “Here We Go!” written by Dale C. Garell, MD, June 1968 for the Adolescent Medicine Newsletter Learn more about SAHM’s history…
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