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Welcome to the 2021 annual congress

Dear colleagues, dear friends,

On behalf of pédiatrie suisse, the Swiss Society of Paediatrics (SSP), and the Swiss Academy for Psychosomatic and Psychosocial Medicine (SAPPM), we kindly welcome you to the virtual annual conference on June 10-11, 2021. Special circumstances require special measures – and so we are pleased that, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we can now hold the congress carefully prepared for June 2020 at least as a virtual meeting.

The current pandemic teaches us three things. First, medicine is characterized by a continuous learning process that ensures development in a constantly changing world. It is in the nature of things that existing doctrines are overturned and new findings lead to changes in direction. Secondly, the pandemic brings to light the complexity of medical, social and ecological interrelationships. However, especially with complex challenges, often only the consideration of different perspectives leads to viable and sustainable solutions. And third, the current crisis revives the fundamental question of the origins of health and disease. Since both are intimately linked to the human being, a patient-centered medicine must start from this question and the doctor-patient relationship, as the heart of medicine, must be determined by the care for the suffering fellow human being.

In daily practice, the paediatrician is often confronted with the question: „Doctor, why is my child ill?“ This question directs attention to the disease-causing factors and thus to the pathogenesis of the disease. As soon as the diagnosis has been made, usually another question follows: “Doctor, what will make my child healthy (again)?” Aside from specific therapies, this question draws attention to health promotion factors and developmental conditions and, therefore, to salutogenesis. This approach plays an important role, whether the therapy is causal or symptomatic. These equal and complementary perspectives are also the basis for the distinction between risk factors and protective factors for the healthy development of children and adolescents.

With the enormous progress that has been made in conventional medicine, major successes have occurred in fields such as emergency medicine, intensive care and oncology. At the same time, complementary medicine therapies have strived to stimulate and support the promotion of health and the processes that maintain it. Although complementary medicine enjoys great popularity, its therapeutic potential is far from being used to the extent possible in paediatrics, nor is it being investigated scientifically to allow clear distinctions between effective and safe therapies and ineffective and dangerous therapies. Furthermore, according to a recently published study, two thirds of Swiss paediatricians are interested in training courses on complementary medicine to provide appropriate advice to their patients on this issue.

Just as the two questions posed by parents complement each other reasonably, together describing integrated patient care, the approaches of conventional and complementary medicine can together complement one another to use the entire range of therapeutic potential according to the principles of integrative medicine. The necessary dialogue between paediatricians in practice, paediatric specialists, experts and researchers is at the heart of the 2021 congress. It is guided by the motto „Building bridges between conventional and complementary medicine“. We invite you to participate actively also in the virtual format in stimulating discussions and fruitful exchanges.


On behalf of the local and scientific organising committee